NYU researchers sold study results to Chinese competitor

Sarah Hofmann Contributor
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A New York University professor and a lab engineer have been released on bail on Monday after being charged for selling the results of a federally funded study to a Chinese company.

A federal prosecutor called the two men, along with a suspected other conspirator, “foxes in the hen house,” The Associated Press reported Monday.

The associate professor of radiology, Yudong Zhu, received a multimillion-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health for his MRI research in 2010.

He reportedly then arranged for Chinese company United Imaging Healthcare to pay for the tuition and rent for the lab engineer, Xing Yang, and a postdoctoral fellow Ye Li.

An internal investigation was launched in the beginning of 2013 that uncovered security camera footage of Yang taking pictures of the machines, as well as emails describing “MRI equipment prototypes, experiments and project updates,” sent between United Imaging and Zhu and Yang.

Zhu has been in the United States for the past 20 years and has degrees from Vanderbilt and Stanford, and has two children. He faces up to 20 years in prison for falsifying federal grant documents. His cohorts face up to five years for commercial bribery.

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