At the end of September we learned that Dr. Judy Mikovits was fired from her post as research director at the Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease (WPI) in Reno, Nevada.
Then we found out that Mikovits was accused of theft and was locked out of her lab.
Shortly after, on November 4, WPI filed suit against Mikovits, alleging that she had wrongfully kept her laboratory notebooks and other information about her work for WPI on her laptop, in flash drives, and in a personal e-mail account.
And just yesterday, we read in X Rx , that last Friday (Nov. 18) she was arrested at her home in California for felony charges, without bail.
What’s going on?
The Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog reported that, in a letter from WPI President Annette Whittemore to Judy Mikovits, Mikovits was terminated
“After refusing Whittemore’s direct request that cell lines be turned over to another scientist at the institute who wanted to do research on them.”
In a letter of response, Mikovits said
“That the cells were for use in a specific NIH-funded project and that it would be inappropriate to use them for another purpose without her knowledge and consent.”
In an interview with Science, magazine writer Jon Cohen, says Mikovits maintained that her firing was also linked to an old battle about WPI’s decision to sell, through VIPDx/UNEVX, a test for HGRVs (human gammaretroviruses), which the lab began offering- for $500- shortly after Lombardi et al. reported a link between XMRV and ME/CFS.
Many have proven that the XMRV findings are flawed and there are very few researchers left to defend the Lombardi paper. Indeed, Dr. Mikovits’ research has not had many backers lately.
These latest incidents only add fire to the flame; however, is what is happening to Judy Mikovits an example of the powerful, wealthy and politically connected misusing the legal system and police authorities to champion their own end?
The events of the past couple of months certainly make for a sad and sorry saga. This whole affair is also another setback for those of us afflicted with this illness.