JoAnne Thomas jthomas at
Mon Feb 3 14:56:26 EST 1997

To my fellow cytometrists:
I wanted to share this with all of you with the possibility in mind 
that some of you out there may be just as naive or "trusting" as I 
was. Today I realized that I was grossly taken advantage of as a 
result of my over enthusiasm to bring new applications to flow 
cytometry. Several months back I received a phone call from a small 
company in Columbia, MD asking for a few minutes of my time. They 
touted about having some fluorochrome (phycobilisome) which was 1000X 
brighter than PE. They were wondering if I had any ideas of any 
applications in flow which would require this level of sensitivity. I 
tossed the thought around a little and mentioned the idea of HIV 
viral loads. We discussed some more specifics and I gave them the 
name of the director of our AIDS Center to further discuss a possible 
collaboration. A conference call was set up for the three of us to 
discuss this idea and during the phone conversation it was determined 
that this was a feasible idea to explore and that the initial studies 
could be done at my institution with support funding from the company 
with the intent of royalties if a product should come to market. Our 
Grants Management department was contacted by this company and asked 
to draw up a royalty contract. In addition we were asked to submit a 
"scientific proposal" with the experimental design and budget, which 
we did. I guess you by now have figured out the ending. My purpose 
again for sharing this with you is to perhaps enlighten those of you 
out there who assume everyone abides by good scientific conduct that 
in fact there maybe some very "unethical" people out there trying to 
make a buck any way they can. A Lesson learned hard-Beware!!Share 
nothing unless you stamp it confidential or you have a signed 
agreement in hand!!

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