UC San Diego physician resigns amid scrutiny over ties to China

Kang Zhang, MD, PhD, an ophthalmologist and the former chief of UC San Diego's Shiley Eye Institute, resigned last week following a report that alleged he did not disclose conflicts of interest in China, according to inewsource, an independent investigative news outlet covering San Diego.

UC San Diego Health confirmed his resignation.

According to an inewsource investigation, Dr. Zhang is an alleged member of the Thousand Talents Program, a Chinese talent recruitment program the FBI says can lead scientists to bring U.S. intellectual property to China. The report alleges Dr. Zhang founded and owns a 50 percent stake in a Chinese biotechnology company, which overlaps with his research at UCSD, and that he is involved in other foreign biopharmaceutical companies. Inewsource alleges Dr. Zhang did not disclose these ties to UCSD or the federal government. Similarly, it alleges Dr. Zhang did not disclose these relationships or conflicts of interest in research, published in journals like Nature and Cell, that cites the companies.

Dr. Zhang's attorney told inewsource the ophthalmologist is not a full-time member of Thousand Talents and that he did not hide his involvement in the program. The attorney also told inewsource, "Dr. Zhang's China patents were known to UCSD, had no commercial value, were not based on research that was the subject of an NIH grant, and neither they, nor anything else he did, constituted a transfer of intellectual property to China." 

Read more here.  

 

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