Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Announces Conflict of Interest Task Force


Today Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) announced the appointment of a task force that will assess MSK policies and processes for reporting and managing outside activities and industry-supported clinical trials.

The task force was announced in a statement from MSK President and Chief Executive Officer Craig Thompson, MD. It will be chaired by Debra Berns, MSK’s Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. Among its objectives, the task force will:

  • Review MSK’s policies, procedures, and training on COI
  • Identify best practices in COI, including monetary and commitment limits
  • Assess new or improved processes to support timely and thorough disclosure
  • Identify medical societies and journals with whom to partner in improving public disclosure at meetings and in publications

Members of the task force include MSK physicians and scientists, and external experts in COI:

  • Peter Scardino, MD, Chair of the Conflict of Interest Advisory Committee and former Chair of the Department of Surgery
  • Marilyn Resh, PhD, a member of the Conflict of Interest Advisory Committee and a member of the Sloan Kettering Institute whose research focuses on proteins implicated in cancer progression
  • Bruce W. Stillman, PhD, President and CEO of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
  • Heather Pierce, Senior Director for Science Policy and Regulatory Counsel, Association of American Medical Colleges, a leading expert and resource on COI issues in academic medicine
  • Kristen Kim, associate general counsel and chief regulatory counsel
  • Paul Sabbatini, MD, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Clinical Research and a board-certified medical oncologist specializing in gynecologic cancers
  • Richard White, MD, PhD, an assistant member of the Sloan Kettering Institute whose research focuses on zebrafish to study the tumor microenvironment

Mark Barnes, former Associate Provost for Research at Harvard University and co-chair of the Harvard COI Committee, current partner at Ropes & Gray, and a nationally recognized expert in research ethics and oversight, will be an advisor to the panel.