180 cases of Chinese intellectual property theft under investigation at academic medical centers 

The NIH and FBI are investigating 180 individual cases of alleged intellectual property theft of biomedical research funded by the U.S. government, primarily involving Chinese or Chinese American researchers, The New York Times reports.

The investigations are widespread: They span 71 major medical centers and research institutions, and 24 of the cases have been referred to HHS' Office of Inspector General for alleged criminal activity, according to the report. About 12 scientists have already resigned or been fired from institutions including MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus and Emory University in Atlanta. 

"You could take a dart board with medical colleges with significant research programs and, as far as I can tell, you'd have a 50-50 chance of hitting a school with an active case," Ross McKinney Jr., MD, chief scientific officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, told The New York Times.

The cases involve alleged theft of research that could lead to new treatments or tools, according to the report. Some cases involve scientists patenting technology in China that was developed in the U.S. with government grants. Others involve alleged Chinese labs set up to replicate American research, according to the report.  

However, the issue has drawn criticism from people who say Chinese and Chinese American scientists are now being unfairly targeted, according to the report. 

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