advertisement

MU research director steps down after internal audit

Friday, July 3, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — An internal audit of MU's Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory, known as RADIL, prompted the lab's director, Lela Riley, to step down because of a conflict of interest.

According to a statement issued by the university, a conflict of interest arose because Riley was both the head of the research lab and the head of a “private venture company” called Impact Bio Labs LLC. The company and the lab do business together, and MU felt that management changes were necessary to absolve the conflict.

RADIL is staffed by nine faculty members of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine and provides services related to research involving animals.

Eight members of the MU lab's faculty, including Riley, created Impact Bio Labs in 2005. The conflict of interest arose because the company acquires grants for research and then outsources some of the money to laboratories like the one at MU.

The last audit of RADIL was conducted around three years ago but did not highlight a conflict of interest, MU Provost Brian Foster said.

Foster said Riley had “done some amazing things with RADIL and been very successful.” However, the conflict of interest was “structurally difficult,” he said.

“That’s the big conflict,” Foster said. “We can’t do away with conflict of interest but it has to be managed. In this particular situation, we don’t think (it was) manageable.”

RADIL’s new interim director, Alex Bermudez, has “assumed control of day-to-day operations,” according to the statement. He will not be a part of the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine in order to avoid future conflicts of interest, Foster said.

"Riley will be on staff and will still be a professor," Foster said. "My understanding is (Riley) will also still be the CEO of Impact Bio Labs.” 

Riley could not be reached for comment.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements