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It turns out that Martin Shkreli endowed an NYU professorship, the Martin Shkreli Professor of Pediatric Nephrology. Current holder is Howard Trachtman who, according to The Huffington Post, “previously served as a consultant at Retrophin, where Shkreli was CEO.” The article goes on to quote NYU spokesperson Lisa Greiner, “We reviewed potential conflicts of interests at each step in the process, and there was no conflict when the gift was accepted. Should a review of the gift become necessary as the situation evolves, we will do so at that time.”


Another article, this one in the New York Daily News, describes Shkreli:

Shkreli, 32, emerged as the pharma world’s biggest villain this year when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, bought the lifesaving AIDS drug Daraprim and immediately shot up the price from $13.50 to $750 a pill.

Industry insiders accused him of targeting little-known drugs and then spiking the prices.

He was arrested last Thursday for an alleged Ponzi scheme connected to Retrophin and his old hedge funds. After his arrest, he resigned from Turing, which just announced an upcoming round of layoffs.

Another one of his companies, KaloBios, fired him as CEO just a month after he took over. The company stopped trading stocks after his arrest, and announced Wednesday it will soon be removed from NASDAQ. Its interim CEO and outside accounting firm have resigned.

I promised no comment, but I can’t resist asking: Just how important is money to the modern university?

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  1. Apparently NYU has ready access to the donero. Wiki reports, “The alumni of NYU are amongst the wealthiest in the world, and include seventeen living billionaires.” Additionally, “NYU is one of the largest private non-profit institutions of American higher education.”

    And, Wiki alleges, “NYU counts thirty-six Nobel Prize winners, four Abel Prize winners, three Turing Award winners, over thirty National Medals for Science, Technology and Innovation, Arts and Humanities recipients, over thirty Pulitzer Prize winners, over thirty Academy Award winners, as well as several Russ Prize, Gordon Prize, Draper Prize and Fields Medal winners, and dozens of Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award winners among its faculty and alumni. NYU also has many MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowship holders as well as hundreds of National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and American Academy of Arts and Sciences members, and a plethora of members of the United States Congress and heads of state of countries all over the world, among its past and present graduates and faculty. NYU has the most Oscar winners of any university.”

    Perhaps it is simply a case of almost is never enough…

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