Conflict of Interest-No Mr. Bill, Not Again!

By

Leonard Zwelling

It is very interesting that IBM
Watson and MD Anderson are collaborating on a research project. While I am
quite confused as to what it really is, perhaps we should not at all be
confused that this collaboration was launched. Did you know that the emcee of
the Watson roll-out presentation was a member of the IBM Watson Medical
Advisory Board? That’s right. Mrs. DePinho is on the board that secured an
estimated $15M of MD Anderson’s dollars for IBM. Don’t you wonder how much she
is getting paid and whether or not her payment, undoubtedly significantly less
than $15M, had anything to do with securing the partnership (and the money) for
IBM? I sure do.

                I
refuse to write again about the definition of conflict of interest as it is now
clear beyond any reasonable doubt that the DePinhos either don’t get the concept,
don’t want to get the concept, or simply don’t care about the concept or how it
is perceived by others.

                I think
it would have been prudent (and perhaps I missed it in her presentation) for Mrs.
DePinho to acknowledge her relationship with IBM that seems to date to last
year. If she received no funds at all, perhaps this is OK. Perhaps.

                This
appears to be a little cozy for the wife of the President of MD Anderson,
working in buildings he runs, for and with people reporting up to him, serves
on an advisory committee that just happens to send a project of tremendous potential
value (or so she says) to MD Anderson and secures for the company on whose
science board she sits a pretty good chunk of change and some high profile PR.

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/36989.wss

                I will
not belabor this point. Actually, I already have.

                Still—who
paid for the cool movie?

                IMAGINE?

Leonard Zwelling