Collaboration and Credit
From: Graduate Research Ethics: Cases and Commentaries - Volume 3, 1999
edited by Brian Schrag
Robert Kent, M.D., is an established and highly regarded investigator and clinician in breast cancer research and treatment. He holds a faculty position at a large medical institution, where he serves as the Director of the Schrag Center for Breast Cancer research and oversees the allocation of considerable federal monies granted to the Center. In this position, he acts as the facilitator of scientific discussions among clinicians and basic scientists doing work in breast cancer at his center. The members of the group hold appointments in various departments. While many of these investigators receive funding from the Schrag Center, all of them have their own resources as well (NIH, NSF, ACS, etc.). The investigators and members of theirs labs meet weekly to discuss the progress of each lab.
During a recent meeting, John, a graduate student, represented the lab of Dr. Sylvia Barry, Ph.D. Although John's work is not funded through a Schrag Center grant, Dr. Barry wanted to get feedback on John's new data. John presented some extremely interesting preliminary data (one set of replicates) regarding two drugs (Casodin and Fluox), both currently in clinical use. John's research shows that, when used together, these drugs dramatically inhibit the growth and progression of aggressive breast cancer tumors in mice. Dr. Kent and the rest of the group were very interested in John's findings since they held some promise for novel, efficacious therapies with drugs already in use in the clinics.
A few weeks later, Dr. Barry received a phone call from a long-time friend and colleague.
Dr. Barry immediately went to Dr. Kent's office to discuss the incident. Dr. Kent was shocked by Dr. Barry's reaction.
- What should Dr. Barry do?
- Was Dr. Kent justified in sharing John's data at the meeting? What if they were not preliminary data? Should Dr. Kent have any authority over the dissemination of any data discussed at the weekly group meetings?
- What if John's work were funded by the Schrag Center?
Participant Commentary: Collaboration and Credit
Participant commentary on issues regarding an interdepartmental and cross-disciplinary research discussion group dynamic found at many medical schools and medical research centers, specifically the presentation of data that originated from another lab without the consent of that lab chief.
Commentary: Collaboration and Credit
Vivian Weil's commentary on issues regarding an interdepartmental and cross-disciplinary research discussion group dynamic found at many medical schools and medical research centers, specifically the presentation of data that originated from another lab without the consent of that lab chief.
Cite this page:
"Collaboration and Credit"
Online Ethics Center for Engineering
National Academy of Engineering
Accessed: Friday, May 24, 2013