University of Texas Health pays $2.4M to resolve allegations its center misused NIH funds

Houston-based University of Texas Health Science Center paid $2.4 million to settle allegations it misappropriated National Institutes of Health grant funds, according to the Department of Justice.

NIH provided the University of Texas Health's Human Genetics Center funds to research how genomic variation affects individual and population health. U.S. prosecutors received a tip alleging the center misused NIH funds by placing a $1.2 million order for a large amount of genetic sequencing material from biotechnology company Illumina just before the grant ended.

The tip accused the University of Texas Health of then stopping the shipment of the goods and having Illumina credit the center for the material. The Genetics Center then used the credit to purchase goods and services after the grant ended, the Justice Department claims.

The tip was substantiated by a two-year investigation, according to the department.

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