Government virologist gets €1m prize

The government’s chief virologist and Erasmus University professor Ab Osterhaus has been given a €1m government prize for doing what he has been heavily criticised for – working with industry, the NRC reports.

Osterhaus came under fire three weeks ago when it emerged he has shares in a small company which is researching flu vaccines. He is largely held responsible for the government’s decision to buy 34 million doses of swine flu vaccine.
The NGI Valorisation Award, made to Osterhaus and two colleagues at ViroClinics, was made for ‘outstanding’ performance in ‘signing contracts with industry’. ViroClinics is largely owned by Erasmus’ teaching hospital.
Osterhaus told the NRC the money, which comes from six different government ministries, will be put into research.

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