Mess with Texas
The public spat between the scientific board and management of the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas is a case study in how commercial and scientific interests can clash when the two sides are not on the same page about how grants are distributed. The lesson is that academic grant reviewers need to be aware of a foundation's commercial development priorities in any proposal-vetting process.
The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) is a publicly funded agency tasked with financing basic and translational cancer research and cancer prevention initiatives in the state of Texas.1 According to its charter, the organization has a broad remit to spend $3 billion over 10 years "to develop therapies, protocols, medical pharmaceuticals or procedures for the cure or substantial mitigation of all types of cancer."
Since 2009, CPRIT has spent about $760 million on 427 grants to Texas academics, community health organizations and companies, the latter of which received