Something smells off with this – grant to fund travel to meeting, if you use Roche technologies

Just got this email from Roche announcing a grant program to pay registration and travel fees for the AGBT meeting if you are using Roche-454 sequencing or Roche-Nimblegen arrays as part of your work (see below).  Seems like this would have some of the same conflict of interest issues as a pharma company paying someone to give a talk.  I note – I participated in a session supported by 454 at a meeting but paid my own way to avoid this type of conflict of interest issue.  Anyone have opinions on this?  Is this a common pharma method creeping its way more and more into genomics?

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

One thought on “Something smells off with this – grant to fund travel to meeting, if you use Roche technologies”

  1. Interesting post – I hadn't considered being sponsored by the makers of a piece of equipment you use to be much of a conflict of interest (although admittedly I am newish to the world of scientific conferences). I can see it being a problem if your abstract is basically “Roche equipment is amazing” but do you think it is also a problem if the abstract is “using roche equipment we found…” ?

    If you did receive the grant isn't it normal practice to write this on your poster/say it in your presentation? That would point out any possible conflict of interest to your audience. Or do you think that is not enough?


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