UCSD wins legal spat against USC over control of landmark Alzheimer's project
- When former University of California at San Diego (UCSD) researcher Paul Aisen was recruited by University of Southern California (USC), he allegedly took high-level investigators and research funding associated with the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) with him.
- Aisen had been the head of the ADCS since 2007. UCSD had sued USC and Aisen for allegedly conspiring to siphon research and funding over to USC.
- San Diego Superior Court Judge Judith Hayes has now decided that UCSD has right of ownership over the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS)—a 25-year-old, $100 million project.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has confirmed that UCSD still retains goverment funding for the ADCS. When Paul Aisen left UCSD in June, he attempted to take the project and all the funding with him, along with numerous researchers. He defended his actions by saying that it is academic tradition for departing faculty members to transfer their research.
However, according to UCSD and the presiding judge, Aisen and the colleagues who came to USC with him went too far. They have been accused of contract interference, breach of duty of loyalty by an employee, commission of computer crimes, and civil conspiracy.
As of now, a plan is being put in place to supervise the process of USC restoring full control of the ADCS database to UCSD.