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MCW researcher accused of stealing medical research for introduction to China

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Gavel & Stryker, made from Cherry & Ash, sold to Whitney Hoffman. By KeithBurtis (Flickr: Gavel & Stryker) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gavel & Stryker, made from Cherry & Ash, sold to Whitney Hoffman. By KeithBurtis (Flickr: Gavel & Stryker) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin is accused of stealing a potential cancer-fighting chemical and its supporting research data, so he could introduce it in China.

42-year-old Huajun Zhao is being held without bond in Milwaukee, until his possible trial on a federal charge of economic espionage.

Medical College officials said Zhao was disciplined several months earlier, for putting the school’s research data on his personal computer. Security video reportedly showed Zhao entering an office around the time that three containers of a cancer research compound were missing on February 22nd.

Also, officials said another researcher’s Web site had Zhao claiming that he discovered a cancer-fighting compound that he wanted to bring back to China. He had been there from last December until mid-February.

Prosecutors said his most recent resume listed Zhao as an assistant professor at China’s Zhejiang University. In late February, the Medical College put Zhao on an administrative suspension – and he had to turn in all of his access badges to the school’s research facilities.

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