Emory University said yesterday that it removed Charles Nemeroff as chairman of its psychiatry and behavioral-sciences department after finding he failed to disclose more than $800,000 in payments from GlaxoSmithKline P.L.C. as required by university conflict-of-interest rules.
Glaxo has major operations in the Philadelphia area.
Nemeroff, department chairman for 17 years, will remain a professor and must follow new restrictions on outside activities, the Atlanta university said in a statement posted on the Web site of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
The committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, has faulted Nemeroff and researchers at universities such as Harvard and Stanford for failing to disclose payments from makers of drugs and medical devices. His criticisms led the National Institutes of Health in October to suspend a $9.3 million psychiatric-research grant to Emory on a study led by Nemeroff.
"As a department chair, particularly one who has been under heightened scrutiny, Dr. Nemeroff should have reported the payments," Thomas J. Lawley, dean of the university's medical school, said in the statement.
Emory found Nemeroff was paid $800,000 from Glaxo for more than 250 speeches from January 2000 to January 2006. The university said it focused on Nemeroff's payments from Glaxo rather than other drugmakers because "it was the largest single payer" and cooperated with the university by providing complete records of the financial transactions.
Nemeroff said he had believed outside speaking activities, even those sponsored by for-profit companies, were "educational lectures" exempt from disclosure rules, the university statement said.
"I regret the failure of full disclosure on my part that has led to the current situation," he said in the university's statement. "I believe that I was acting in good faith to comply with the rules as I understood them to be in effect at the time. I pledge to continue my cooperation in working with Emory to clarify and strengthen our current system of disclosure . . . ."