Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

UCSD's wild, wooly, unforgettable case of Alzheimer's

Brain cancer surgery for USC defendant’s son casts shadow over big money court battle

Former UCSD Alzheimer's researcher Paul Aisen, now at USC
Former UCSD Alzheimer's researcher Paul Aisen, now at USC

The first Monday of the new year is shaping up to be a confrontational one for UCSD versus the University of Southern California, the possibly precedent-setting legal battle of the universities over the future of a multimillion-dollar Alzheimer's research program led by ex-UCSD professor Paul Aisen.

As previously reported, the legal war was launched by UCSD in July after Aisen and fellow researchers decamped to USC, allegedly taking with them the electronic keys to a vast storehouse of information about their years-long investigation into the memory-sapping disease.

USC quickly struck back, charging, among other things, that its rival had “pressured Dr. Aisen to move [the Alzheimer’s program] to the UCSD campus so that UCSD could collect indirect costs of up to 55 percent, a move which would have crippled the program financially by diverting too much grant funding from research projects into UCSD’s Administration.”

Pradeep Khosla

Responded UCSD chancellor Pradeep Khosla in a statement, "We are proud of our work, grateful for our partners, and disappointed that one faculty member has chosen to separate in such a way that puts the [Alzheimer's research] work in jeopardy."

Shortly thereafter, associate vice chancellor for UC San Diego Health Sciences Paul Viviano abruptly quit his $831,147-a-year job to become chief executive officer of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in August.

With further insults and accusations flying, the Aisen case was moved from state Superior Court, where judge Judith Hayes appeared to some to be tilting in favor of the local team, to the federal courthouse, where district court judge Roger T. Benitez has since overseen the matter.

Brief-filing and deposition-taking this fall by lawyers for the parties has been fast and furious, giving no early indication that Monday's so-called Early Neutral Evaluation Conference, to be conducted by federal magistrate judge Jill L. Burkhardt, offers much hope of a quick settlement.

"Just to be clear on the sequence of events, USC gave Dr. Aisen his offer of employment at $500,000 a year on May 20th. May 21st, Dr. Aisen told the [National Institute on Aging], 'I've decided to move to USC.’” said UCSD's attorney Dan Sharp during a July 23 hearing.

"May 22nd, Dr. Aisen told all the staff at the [Alzheimer's program] he's moving to USC and that they're going to lose their jobs. And on May 23rd, Dr. Mobley called Dr. Aisen into his office and said that was wrong to do and took away his computer access, because Dr. Mobley was concerned about Dr. Aisen stealing the data, and that's exactly what he did."

Responded John B. Quinn, a lawyer for USC, "Mr. Sharp seems more concerned with getting 'control' of the studies than the integrity of the data and the welfare of the patients. The entire IT group that was running this program at UCSD has departed and is now at USC.”

Contrast between a healthy brain and one with Alzheimer's disease

Continued Quinn, “There is a reason the companies that have paid for these projects have directed that everything be transferred to USC. Putting this program in control of the people at UCSD who have had no responsibility for it in the past jeopardizes all the Alzheimer’s work that has been done for years with thousands of patients."

The lawyer concluded, “Speaking frankly, there is no one left at UCSD who is competent to run these programs. To deliver it over to their control without the court's supervision is an invitation to disaster."

Dr. Aloysius "Alois" Alzheimer

In a November 16 filing, Sharp complained to the federal court that Aisen and company had failed to follow an order issued in August by state-court judge Hayes.

"Defendants have refused to cooperate in the restoration of the [Alzheimer's] Data and Systems, and refused to provide passwords or control of accounts housing the data as required by the Court's Preliminary Injunction Order," declared Sharp.

"Defendants have further specifically refused to comply with the directive of the Court-appointed Special Master requiring Defendants to relinquish passwords to certain accounts and data."

Asserting that USC and co-defendants were in contempt of court, the filing asked for sanctions of "at least" $10,000 a day.

Then, as this coming Monday's hearing approached, a personal medical issue intruded into the lawyers' wrangling, according to a December 22 court filing.

USC defendant Kelly Harless, UCSD's former clinical evaluation manager, who in July moved with Aisen to USC to become program manager of clinical operations there, “learned that her teenage son must undergo unexpected surgery to remove a brain tumor on January 4, 2016. Ms. Harless has requested to be excused from the [neutral evaluation conference] in order to accompany her son to the hospital so that the surgery will not be postponed."

Both parties moved to grant the request.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Spotty internet makes it hard to stay at home in Descanso

Forget the antenna clusters
Former UCSD Alzheimer's researcher Paul Aisen, now at USC
Former UCSD Alzheimer's researcher Paul Aisen, now at USC

The first Monday of the new year is shaping up to be a confrontational one for UCSD versus the University of Southern California, the possibly precedent-setting legal battle of the universities over the future of a multimillion-dollar Alzheimer's research program led by ex-UCSD professor Paul Aisen.

As previously reported, the legal war was launched by UCSD in July after Aisen and fellow researchers decamped to USC, allegedly taking with them the electronic keys to a vast storehouse of information about their years-long investigation into the memory-sapping disease.

USC quickly struck back, charging, among other things, that its rival had “pressured Dr. Aisen to move [the Alzheimer’s program] to the UCSD campus so that UCSD could collect indirect costs of up to 55 percent, a move which would have crippled the program financially by diverting too much grant funding from research projects into UCSD’s Administration.”

Pradeep Khosla

Responded UCSD chancellor Pradeep Khosla in a statement, "We are proud of our work, grateful for our partners, and disappointed that one faculty member has chosen to separate in such a way that puts the [Alzheimer's research] work in jeopardy."

Shortly thereafter, associate vice chancellor for UC San Diego Health Sciences Paul Viviano abruptly quit his $831,147-a-year job to become chief executive officer of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in August.

With further insults and accusations flying, the Aisen case was moved from state Superior Court, where judge Judith Hayes appeared to some to be tilting in favor of the local team, to the federal courthouse, where district court judge Roger T. Benitez has since overseen the matter.

Brief-filing and deposition-taking this fall by lawyers for the parties has been fast and furious, giving no early indication that Monday's so-called Early Neutral Evaluation Conference, to be conducted by federal magistrate judge Jill L. Burkhardt, offers much hope of a quick settlement.

"Just to be clear on the sequence of events, USC gave Dr. Aisen his offer of employment at $500,000 a year on May 20th. May 21st, Dr. Aisen told the [National Institute on Aging], 'I've decided to move to USC.’” said UCSD's attorney Dan Sharp during a July 23 hearing.

"May 22nd, Dr. Aisen told all the staff at the [Alzheimer's program] he's moving to USC and that they're going to lose their jobs. And on May 23rd, Dr. Mobley called Dr. Aisen into his office and said that was wrong to do and took away his computer access, because Dr. Mobley was concerned about Dr. Aisen stealing the data, and that's exactly what he did."

Responded John B. Quinn, a lawyer for USC, "Mr. Sharp seems more concerned with getting 'control' of the studies than the integrity of the data and the welfare of the patients. The entire IT group that was running this program at UCSD has departed and is now at USC.”

Contrast between a healthy brain and one with Alzheimer's disease

Continued Quinn, “There is a reason the companies that have paid for these projects have directed that everything be transferred to USC. Putting this program in control of the people at UCSD who have had no responsibility for it in the past jeopardizes all the Alzheimer’s work that has been done for years with thousands of patients."

The lawyer concluded, “Speaking frankly, there is no one left at UCSD who is competent to run these programs. To deliver it over to their control without the court's supervision is an invitation to disaster."

Dr. Aloysius "Alois" Alzheimer

In a November 16 filing, Sharp complained to the federal court that Aisen and company had failed to follow an order issued in August by state-court judge Hayes.

"Defendants have refused to cooperate in the restoration of the [Alzheimer's] Data and Systems, and refused to provide passwords or control of accounts housing the data as required by the Court's Preliminary Injunction Order," declared Sharp.

"Defendants have further specifically refused to comply with the directive of the Court-appointed Special Master requiring Defendants to relinquish passwords to certain accounts and data."

Asserting that USC and co-defendants were in contempt of court, the filing asked for sanctions of "at least" $10,000 a day.

Then, as this coming Monday's hearing approached, a personal medical issue intruded into the lawyers' wrangling, according to a December 22 court filing.

USC defendant Kelly Harless, UCSD's former clinical evaluation manager, who in July moved with Aisen to USC to become program manager of clinical operations there, “learned that her teenage son must undergo unexpected surgery to remove a brain tumor on January 4, 2016. Ms. Harless has requested to be excused from the [neutral evaluation conference] in order to accompany her son to the hospital so that the surgery will not be postponed."

Both parties moved to grant the request.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

What San Diego restaurant staffs eat, dumpster diving for dinner

How food critic Naomi Wise started her life in San Diego, how food critic Eleanor Widmer ended hers
Next Article

Jazz the Night Away, Reopening Celebration at the Aquarium

Events July 11-July 15, 2020
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close