By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
The Associated Press
COLUMBUS - Ohio State University has lost a $540,000 state grant for reducing tobacco use after accepting a research grant of similar size from tobacco company Philip Morris.
Thomas Boyd, a neuroscience professor in Ohio State's College of Medicine, is receiving a three-year, $590,000 grant from the Philip Morris External Research Program to study how nicotine affects the nerve cells of zebra fish.
Researchers use the small, striped fish native to Asia as models for human development because their embryos are similar to human embryos.
In response, the Ohio Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Foundation announced it was withdrawing a three-year, $540,000 grant it gave Ohio State to provide anti-tobacco services to adults in Ross and Vinton counties.
That grant prohibited any recipient from receiving money from a tobacco company.
University officials debated the issue for about two months before deciding to accept the tobacco-company grant, Thomas Rosol, Ohio State's interim vice president for research, said Monday.
He said the foundation's regulations unfairly restricted other OSU researchers from doing research in related areas during the three years of the grant.
Rosol said the Philip Morris grant came without restrictions on its use or the publication of results.
"We're not making a value judgment on the products that Philip Morris produces," Rosol said.
On the Net
Ohio State College of Medicine and Public Health: http://medicine.osu.edu/
Ohio Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Foundation: http://www.standohio.org/
Philip Morris: http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/
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