Millions of people participate in medical research studies every year in the U.S. and around the world. inewsource reporters Brad Racino and Jill Castellano are investigating the shortcomings in the system that's meant to protect those participants.
This is an evolving project that began with an investigation into one research study at the San Diego VA but has now branched out to affiliated institutions and oversight agencies. Sign up below for alerts to new stories, or reach out to the reporters with tips, suggestions or leads.
BRAD RACINOBrad Racino is a senior investigative reporter and assistant director at inewsource. He has produced investigations on topics including political corruption, transportation, health, maritime, education and nonprofits.
JILL CASTELLANOJill Castellano is an investigative data reporter at inewsource. During the 2018 election, she focused on campaign finance reporting, including political party spending and the money behind the failed gas tax repeal.
Feb. 12, 2020
REWIRED is a two-part investigation into a promising and experimental brain treatment that has sparked mayhem for the doctor who developed it and the Navy SEAL who had a psychotic break after receiving it. The stories also offer the first public description of an ongoing University of California investigation into how a $10 million gift to study the treatment was wasted at one of America’s premier research universities.
MORE ON THE INVESTIGATION
October 16, 2019
Leadership from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs answered questions at a congressional hearing about inewsource’s investigation into dangerous liver research conducted at the San Diego VA and poor oversight of the VA healthcare system.
October 1, 2019
Congress will conduct a hearing to investigate the VA's Office of the Medical Inspector following inewsource stories that exposed the office’s shoddy review of a dangerous San Diego liver study.
September 11, 2019
For years, a distinguished UC San Diego economist has wanted to stop young girls in Kenya from undergoing genital mutilation by offering them and their families money toward education.
August 14, 2019
An anonymous whistleblower is claiming that UC San Diego is putting at risk thousands of people each year because it’s not following basic rules meant to protect human research subjects and values grant funding over safety.
July 25, 2019
Researchers from the University of California San Diego were involved in a study performed on babies in China that has been called unethical, risky and misleading. Experts say the experiment likely would not have passed an ethics review in the United States.
July 6, 2019
A renowned UCSD eye doctor who is part of a Chinese talent program under FBI scrutiny has resigned amid questions about his foreign government affiliations and businesses.
May 30, 2019
Two prominent doctors associated with the University of California San Diego and the local VA used blood and stool samples taken from sick veterans to bolster a paper published in an academic research journal.
May 14, 2019
The lead researcher pushed to tell 24 women in the project about the breach, but UCSD officials were concerned about the legal consequences.
April 23, 2019
Dr. Kang Zhang, chief of eye genetics at the University of California San Diego, is “on leave” after an inewsource investigation exposed how the doctor put medical research subjects in harm’s way for years.
April 18, 2019
Dr. Kang Zhang is the chief of eye genetics at UCSD with a history of research violations that put patients in harm’s way for years.
March 14, 2019
So far, our investigation has led us to contradictory government reports, confusing timelines and disagreements on basic facts. We hoped talking to Dr. Ramon Bataller would give us the answers we’ve been looking for.
February 26, 2019
An internal report from the San Diego VA reveals liver samples were taken from sick veterans without their permission. The October 2018 report found “serious noncompliance occurred” when extra pieces of liver were removed from at least nine veterans.
February 1, 2019
Congress will hold a hearing into allegations by two whistleblowers of dangerous human research conducted at the San Diego VA medical center.
November 27, 2018
Rep. Scott Peters on Monday requested congressional hearings over allegations of dangerous human research at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.
November 19, 2018
Two whistleblowers say dangerous medical research was performed on veterans suffering from alcoholism and liver disease at the San Diego VA.