! This Just In ! ... LMB, Lend Lease (formerly Bovis Lend Lease) admits to “fraudulently” overbilling its clients for the past two decades. “Through this deliberate scheme of billing clients FOR WORK NOT DONE, Bovis deceived their customers and stole taxpayer dollars,” said US Attorney for The Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch.
MSKCC poisoned its employees (exposing them to carbon oxide(s)); MSKCC built a laboratory building and KNOWINGLY did NOT install ductwork controls.
LMB/Bovis Lend Lease has overseen and continues to oversee major construction projects at MSKCC
His fame was due in the first place to his capacity for self-promotion. Among his gimmicks was the [soliciting of nominations] of himself by famous [scientists] ... with the request to write ... praise [of] him or his work.
Something Funny Happened On The Way To Stockholm !! … The Pacific Yew Tree – Taxus brefivolia is an evergreen tree found in the Pacific North West. The chemotherapy drug paclitaxel used in breast, ovarian and lung cancer treatment is derived from Taxu brevifolia. The Danishefsky total synthesis of taxol (the third!, behind Holton and KC [hold the presses!] Nicolaou) completed the task via Baccatin III a natural product similar to taxol found in the harvestable (without removing the bark and thereby harming the Yew Tree’s) needles. The taxol race was high profile with much braggadocio prattled by its saber rattling Principal Investigator competitors. Danishefsky’s team nearly pulled off the coup, if not for the discovery team of postdoctorals dropping their guard and trusting the scaled up (previously solved piece of the puzzle farmed out) material provided by the (MSKCC/Sloan-Kettering Institute’s) in-house “prep” [preparative synthesis core facility] lab, whose personnel ordered the wrong isomer of Wieland–Miescher Ketone, dooming an otherwise ultimately completed synthesis (purportedly all was solved save no-brainer synthetic accoutrements) to the wrong optical rotation, i.e. the non-natural product. Bill Bormann Ph.D. headed that Prep-Lab effort and Professor Danishefsky has referred to Bill as a “bird-brain” [note the editor of this comment does not necessarily agree with that description of Bill who was treated like a door-mat while at Sloan]. Danishefsky’s Post-Docs thought of dispatching Bill after Gilbert Stork’s team checked the optical rotation of the all but complete molecule [something Danishefsky’s discovery team of post-docs should have done before incorporating “Bird-Brain” Bill’s Prep-Lab contribution to the effort]. Danishefsky’s team dropped out of the proverbial Taxol synthesis playoffs and watched when Holton (whose paper was scrutinized/peer reviewed to a fault), yet bizarrely and curiously Nature held the presses while the pure as the driven snow KC Nicolaou (et al.) slurped their ink still dripping on the manuscript paper to the Editorial Board of Nature who promptly rubber stamped the paper in world record time. And so, another curious “tie” in science (remember when the French isolated HIV, and we (the Americans!) stole it from the French, but the Gipper (President Reagan) brokered a “tie” (don’t forget to follow the [potential!] money) … things were not hunky-dory at Sloan when the Taxol papers appeared. … fast forward, the Gordon Conferences serve up a natural product whose M.O. mode of action is not unlike Taxol, but which may have more clinical (anticancer) superpowers and less (clinical) side effects! … voila, a potential Billion Dollar Molecule! … and so the race is now on to best the others in the quest to synthesize the epothilones. This initiative is successful although the nefarious KCN (a.k.a. [to quote Erik Sorensen:] “that Bastard” (KCN, that is) was involved in some dubious IP coup v. Danishefsky’s attempts. There were concerns in the lab relative to appropriately signing daily lab notebooks (baad Dongfang Meng … and don’t p** on the floor either! as others need to tip toe around the resultant yellow river …), some reports of postdoctorals keeping two books (baaad Craig Coburn!) and questions about the scientific methodology of a molecular pharmacology colleague that was written off to being the result of a “cultural difference”; however, when one supplies a molecular pharmacologist with umpteen “nude mice” that are apt to get sick if you look at them the wrong way, or if the nipple on the water bottle leaks into the cedar bed of the mouse cage they’ll pass (die) through the night … but Dr. Chou gets all these mice, umpteen die for whatever reason and are not counted in an experiment and there are something akin to 3 mice left and if one does a reverse log graph or some other mathematical trick the Sloan analogue is a bit better than Bristol’s or Novartis’s or whatever and therefore Sarah Danishefsky is apt to declare “ours are better than theirs” and based on that questionable (and likely not statistically significant) premise instruct a colleague to embargo known information relative to the availability of clinical trial candidates of competitors’ (Bristol/Novartis) compounds being vetted at Sloan Kettering from desperate cancer patients or their proxies who ferret out the lab following the publication of an article about epothilones in the high profile, (from a medical perspective, lay press WSJ)! After all, though Sloan’s candidate was not out of the proverbial starting gate yet, very large milestone royalty payments were on the line and Sarah Danishefsky, non clinician Administrative Manager of the Bioorganic Chemistry Lab and spouse of its Awesome PI saw fit to act in a cravenly self – serving manner. When this incident was relayed to an SKI colleague (Neal Rosen!) the Editorial and Graphics Specialist was warned that though such action was selfish it was not illegal for the Danishefsky’s to do, however, Sloan could be penalized (lose its license to conduct clinical trials) and therefore the incident would need to be swept under the rug (actually Neal was not so circumspect in his choice of words). Meanwhile it was reported by “Bird-Brain” [Samuel J. Danishefsky’s adjective] Bill Bormann that the head of Clinical Trials at Sloan (Dr. David Spriggs!) was irritated at Sam Danishefsky because he (a non-clinician) was pressuring Spriggs to continue enrolling patients in the by that point being conducted clinical trial on the Sloan Kettering (Bioorganic Chemistry) epothilone derivative against his (Spriggs’) better clinical judgment. This is important because above mentioned milestone achievement royalty payments are based on milestones such as completing a clinical trial phase and would not be granted if the clinician stopped enrolling patients in the study. This is an egregious conflict of interest. When reported to MSKCC HR (Shaun Smith!), attempts were made to sweep this, too, under the rug. … Then we have the MSKCC Facilities Management follies [Ed Mahoney is its incumbent VP]: Sloan’s selfless employees in an ancillary building were getting SICK. When they reported their illnesses to MSKCC workers who up until that point were annually appraised as outstanding were dispatched on pretense. Sloan attempted to thwart attempts to investigate the causes and had to ABANDON the building when they could no longer duck the fact that MSKCC Facilities Management flaws resulted in its employees being POISONED by CARBON OXIDE(s). Having been privy to Sloan’s intransigence, inappropriate and nasty tack on that matter re proper addressment of this egregious safety flaw, the Editorial / Graphics Specialist was not a fan of the way the Public Affairs and Facilities Team operated. PA and Facilities work FOR SKI/MSKCC, not the other way around. PA and Facilities need to follow proper safety doctrines, not dictate conjured and synchronized cover stories or versions thereof when it suits their needs. Being a relative non-transient (compared with the postdocs who stay at most 3 years), the Ed/Graph Spec was asked to take a C14 Chemistry Laboratory Certificate of Fitness (COF) Exam. Having passed the exam he became one of a few COF Holders on RRL 13. There were concerns of a “cross contamination” between supposedly mutually exclusive fume hoods reported by circumspect postdoctorals, wherein expunged fumes were somehow being recirculated (e.g. chemists from one lab would smell compounds not being used in their lab). This is a concern as (a hypothetical) one researcher may use a cyanide containing compound while using proper ventilation masks, while another researcher may be preparing a reaction with a stir bar and magnetic plate without respiratory protection and may breathe in a fume supposedly vented from another fume hood. One bizarre episode involved alarms sounding, chemists smelling “chlorine” or “bromine”, permeation throughout the floor, an evacuation of the building following an obvious lack of control by MSKCC Safety (a Safety officer refused to enter an area without a gas mask … a curious event as RRL 13 had lobbied for placement of such protection on the floor, but that request was denied). After the event Sloan attempted an inaccurate assuagement of the incident via a note signed by its head of Safety, but possibly ghosted by others (e.g. Public Affairs). When challenged, MSKCC Facilities merely threatened the Sloan C14 COF “you upset a lot of people when you mentioned OSHA”. However unit integrity also equals unit safety even if it means addressing MSKCC Facilities Management shortcomings. Sloan unbelievably but in fact chose NOT to install ductwork controls in the laboratory building strewn with toxins. Other Facilities follies included leaking of water through live electrical light fixtures, possibly from ductwork and/or filtered water conduits whose water is used somewhat universally in SKI experiments. If the integrity of those filtered water conduits are impeached then the efficacy of published results based on experiments that used that “purified water”, clinical candidates that result from such experiments and alas, the Intellectual Property Portfolio that results from those experiments, too must be questioned. More reasons for Sloan to attempt to sweep under the rug these problems. Then Sloan sought a new laboratory building but they could not tell the surrounding and rightfully concerned CB8M Community that it was in fact a replacement building. The ruse invoked was fun to watch, but sad indeed. Sloan’s facilities flaws continue to date, with charges of graft (no show jobs, falsified concrete tests, and admittance by the HEAD of one of the world's largest construction firms that has overseen large construction projects at Sloan that that organization unfathomably, yet knowingly did not complete projects) and even a recent legionella exposure (a situation presciently addressed in the OSHA complaint of 2004 that resulted in Sloan’s citation):
Stagnant water (such as that which accumulates secondary to the ceiling-leak-’phenomena’), combined with ductwork problems and an endless source of exposure to microorganisms may constitute a legionella or pneumonia (causative agent) hospitable environment and it may be appropriate to consider the installation of ultraviolet germicidal lights in the ductwork systems, similar to those apparently studied in The Lancet, (2003, 362 (9898), 1785), if such systems are not already in use and are not in variance with intermittent contact with volatile chemicals that may coincidentally ’seep’ into the ductwork.
Curiously, though requested (implored!) in writing prior to a follow up site visit, to investigate specific fume hoods that were reported to exhibit the curious “cross contamination” phenomena, an OSHA investigator stated that he had to choose investigation sites randomly; i.e. Sloan was given a pass on this known and big picture damning, systemic problem.
Sloan has also been cited by the EPA.
Dr. David Golde, erstwhile MSKCC Physician in Chief committed suicide via the two whole method (bullet entry/exit wound). It was reported that he had a virulent cancer and (unverified) that the Feds were closing in on other matters.
Zvi Fuks, the Oracle behind Imclone who matched a foundling drug (eventually referred to as erbitux) with a company who sought a raison d’etre was purportedly tipped off during what became known as the Imclone insider stock anomalies.
There were also funny anomalies relative to bookkeeping in the Bioorganic Laboratory. Sarah Danishefsky would deign to show up at work, perhaps 50% time even though she was a “full time employee”, would interrupt SKI work by complaining over the phone about not being able to check her stocks via the internet, and there were funny bookkeeping initiatives; e.g. when the PI would travel at times he’d submit multiple times, to different places, his ticket for reimbursement (e.g. academic talks combined with consultancies) and justify the double billing by stating that his time was important. He’d do the same to cover his wife’s ticket. When the admin charged with filing such reimbursements felt uncomfortable he was taken off the assignment and treated in a threatening manner by the PI and / or his spouse, the conflicted (interests!) “full time employee” Dr. Sarah Danishefsky.
Relative to the Danishefsky’s stocks, SJD was affiliated with Ariad, either on its scientific board or perhaps a scientific founder. When other biotech stocks flourished in ~ 1999 Ariad, embroiled in an intellectual property legal impediment, floundered at ~ 50 cents. When the case was settled, the stock rocketed to ca. 50 dollars (a 10,000% or 100X increase) in perhaps a four month period, until the (bio)tech stock bubble burst ca. March of 2000 [when Clinton and Blair had a joint news conference stating their intention to share genomic data and possibly hindering the ability to patent genes]. Ariad insiders would have been privy to when the settlement would occur and may have been liberal in passing this information on to others. Are there Ariad millionaires at Sloan? Are you an Ariad millionaire? Wouldn’t it be a coincidence if the erstwhile head (a VP!) of MSKCC Public Affairs (Avice! who coincidentally was at times of import to the processing of Professor Danishefsky’s auto-nominations [by proxy!] of himself for various scientific door prizes was an Ariad tippee?
John Deutch the erstwhile DCI, Director of Central Intelligence (the CIA!) under Clinton, who was admonished for removing top secret computers from the agency (did he leave them at a Starbucks?) was granted a seconds to midnight pardon by President Clinton while Hillary was proverbially stealing the White House silverware. John Deutch has also been a chemistry professor at MIT, is a member of the proverbial Cambridge (MA, not UK!) Curia of king makers and has been affiliated with Ariad in a Board/Director and/or Advisor type capacity. Wouldn’t it be curious if any Clinton affiliate (e.g. Hillary, Chelsea, Bill, or a "blind" (my foot! ;) trust in their names?) happened to be an Ariad tippee and had an Ariad windfall prior to the Clinton pardon?
Ed Sausville vetted an NIH RAID (rapid application to industrial development, meant as a bridge to clinical development) grant for the bioorganic chemistry lab for its epothilone derivatives. It was granted. (remember, Sarah Danishefsky, accepts gov’t money to vet epothilones, yet attempts to steer people away from the clinical trials of competing compounds conducted at Sloan, an egregious conflict of interest from a non clinician). Sausville has since sat on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Biotech Company (since purchased by Bristol Myers Squibb) that developed the Sloan Kettering portfolio of epothilones [Kosan].
The Danishefskys have practiced mucophagy and rhinotillexamania. (for SJD, ear wax, too). [For SJD it’s apparently an absentminded pastime (perhaps he could take up painting as a pastime as did Winston C.), but for Sarah it may very well be an insult conducted in front of people she considers herself better than].
Now Sloan is attempting to metastasize to Harrison. The mission of MSKCC is nonpareil and most of its employees are selfless and truly care. However, there are clinicians, suits and researchers in high places who inappropriately drop their guard and act selfishly to a fault. This is hurtful as these people clearly know better. Remember the statement: “Sloan is pursuing a systemic approach to reducing expenses and increasing revenues […] One example of this is discouraging terminally ill patients from seeking initial treatment or second opinions from the cancer center […] the admission of such patients is counterproductive […] to Sloan Kettering.” [paraphrasing salient features, MSKCC, CFO/Chief Financial Officer].
Sloan boasts as having the “best cancer care anywhere” … apparently as long as it’s consistent with Sloan’s revenue stream and/or the potential profit of high profile non - clinicians’ stock portfolios.
MSKCC’s new President has recently been accused by his former employer of unscrupulous actions relative to intellectual property.
Don Wiley a world renowned virologist, one of the 'missing [or dead!] scientists' of post 9/11 conspiracy theorist fame [this factoid for your edification, not implying acceptance/or/denial of any missing/dead scientist conspiracy theories] ... just happened to fall off of a bridge [above the Mississippi while attending an SAB (scientific advisory board) type meeting] ... and his body was discovered perhaps 10 days later down stream. ... just happened to fall off of a bridge. Don was pals with other members of the Cambridge (MA/not UK!) Curia of biotech/big pharma academia king makers [e.g. an aspirant to that gang, Greg Verdine, of Harvard's renowned Chemistry Department]. GV was apparently a founding scientist of Ariad! Wouldn't it be a coincidence if Wiley was an Ariad millionaire? Were you?
Professor Danishefsky's brother runs a boutique shop within (formerly) Merrill, now at UBS along with his brother's son and (formerly) his brother's daughter who (see above) had an untimely demise. There is no implied Ariad connection here, but it would be interesting if there was one.
For brevity we won't resurrect the previously mentioned Corey cache of suicides [go*gle lethal chemistry at harvard], or the whole Sezen (Dali, [academic] Son of Sam [don't have a relationship with your graduate student ... at least until the ink is dry on her (hopefully) true veracity thesis] Sames brouhaha ...
Suggestion of the Day! ... that Sloan's CFO and Drs. Danishefsky “present” (with powerpoint!) at the Occupy Wall Street initiatives ...
There are many people who selflessly work at Sloan when they could be working in the for profit sector. When these employees rightfully bring concerns to the fore they are often dispatched under pretense (i.e. thrown under a bus). The admittedly critical tone of this summary of events is a rebuttal to such unacceptable attempts to bully and sweep under the rug egregious conflicts of interest and safety flaws. Just gifting Sloan back the bus that she’s apt to inappropriately attempt to toss others under.
! MSKCCheats / TheDanishefskyDeception ! … Stealing Hope One Clinical Trial Enrolee At A Time?? … when they ought to be steeling hope. …
Boo MSKCC, you know better, especially people who claim to personify a high level of religiosity. Why don’t you provide leadership by example?
Given the history of Facilities Management and Construction Flaws and Sloan’s curious (even if swept under the rug) conflicts of interest and ethics anomalies, it is appropriate to watch that ancillary expansion initiative closely and circumspectly.
Let us cite/paraphrase a few salient features of MLK’s speeches:
And there is deep down within all of us an instinct. It's a kind of drum major instinct—a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first. And it is something that runs the whole gamut of life … A Dream, to be … judged by … the content of their character.
Institutes and people capable of such a high caliber work product ought to provide leadership by example (be a drum major!) and not act in a manner that reflects a poor content of character (craven self servitude) …
MSKCC, the best cancer care anywhere! …