When Doctors Serve on Company Boards

Cancer centers are re-evaluating their relationships with health care companies, including when, if ever, doctors and researchers should serve on corporate boards. Here are some hospital executives and cancer researchers who sit on the boards of publicly traded companies, in dual roles that may raise questions about conflicts of interest.

Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher

President and chief executive of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

Company: Dr. Glimcher sits on the boards of the British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline and Waters Corp., a laboratory equipment and software company.

Outside Compensation: Dr. Glimcher joined the board of GlaxoSmithKline in September of 2017; she received $101,000 in total compensation from the company that year, plus compensation of $285,440 from Waters that year.

Dr. Gary Gilliland

President and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle

Company: Dr. Gilliland serves on the board of LabCorp, a blood testing company.

Outside Compensation: Dr. Gilliland received $269,948 in cash and stock from LabCorp in 2017.

Mary C. Beckerle

Chief executive of the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Company: Dr. Beckerle is on the board of the health care giant Johnson & Johnson and the Huntsman Corporation, a chemical manufacturer.

Compensation: Johnson & Johnson paid Dr. Beckerle $324,893 in total compensation in 2017, and the Huntsman Corporation paid her $310,000.

Dr. Craig B. Thompson

Chief executive of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

Company: Dr. Thompson resigned in October from the boards of the drug maker Merck and of Charles River Laboratories, which assists in early research.

Outside Compensation: In 2017, Dr. Thompson received $300,000 in compensation from Merck. He received $285,050 in cash and company stock from Charles River in 2017.

Robert Benezra

Deputy director for core technologies of the Sloan Kettering Institute, the research arm of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

Company: President, chief executive and chief scientific officer at AngioGenex, a tiny, publicly traded biotech.

Outside Compensation: He took no salary from AngioGenex in 2017, but he owns nearly 9 percent of the company in stock or stock options.

Dr. Charles L. Sawyers

Chair of the human oncology and pathogenesis program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

Company: Member of the board of Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical company. Founder of several companies, including ORIC Pharmaceuticals, a private cancer start-up. (His salary at Memorial Sloan Kettering is paid by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.)

Outside Compensation: Dr. Sawyers received total compensation in 2017 of about $360,000 from Novartis.


Katie Thomas covers the business of health care, with a focus on the drug industry. She started at The Times in 2008 as a sports reporter. @katie_thomas

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