On the heels of recent news that the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) recently approved $6 million worth of new recruitment grants to draw leading tenure-track cancer researchers to Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson, the organization also recently announced another new code of conduct and ethics for its members and employees.
The new rules, which were approved last Friday, are part of a sustained effort to restore credibility in the organization and renew confidence in awarding grants like the one referenced above. These new rule changes constitute the final phase of the reform effort.
The new set of ethics rules include substantial revisions that shore up measures to avoid conflicts of interest among its members, as well as “the establishment and implementation of new rules on how grants are recommended, and an annual report posted on the agency’s website of campaign contributions over $1,000 made by members of CPRIT’s oversight committee. Those members are appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House of Representatives,” according to a recent article from Lubbock Online.
The final set of rules changes seek to put to rest the scandal which plagued CPRIT at the end of 2013 and running through most of 2013, which involved. improper awards totaling more than $56 million. The wake of the scandal led to the resignation of CPRIT’s top executives, and the eventual indictment of the agency’s former chief commercialization officer, Jerald “Jerry” Cobbs on corruption charges.