Berkeley professor conducting controversial genetic testing on students has significant conflicts of interest

by jeeg 25. May 2010 03:56

The Council for Responsible Genetics, a public interest organization, is raising serious concerns over the close commercial biotech connections of the Berkeley professor leading the university’s controversial genetic testing program for incoming students.
Professor Jasper Rine is the founder of several commercial biotech companies (and has served as a consultant for others), including founding a genetic testing company (Vita Path Genetics) less than a year ago. He revealed his own longstanding ties to the commercial biotech industry in a video captured by some of his own students (available on CRG’s 
Professor Rine was on a tenure committee that denied tenure to a scientist
(Ignacio Chapel) who was critical of a deal several years ago between Berkeley and Novartis
and Rine (who was a vocal critic of Chapel) was heavily criticized for having
a conflict of interest because of his biotech ties. 
“I find it astonishing that such serious issues regarding conflict of interest in the creation and handling of this program have not been disclosed and openly addressed by the University of California, Berkeley.  The university should cease moving forward with this program until these issues can be fully investigated” said CRG President Jeremy Gruber


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