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Ex-Ohio State Researcher Pleads Guilty to Share Work with China

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Ex-Ohio State Researcher Pleads Guilty to Share Work with China
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A medical researcher and professor who worked most recently at Ohio State University pleaded guilty Thursday to charges stemming from what prosecutors called a sophisticated scheme for transferring U.S.-backed research to China.

Song Guo Zheng, 58, of Hilliard, pled guilty to one count for making false statements to federal investigators.

Zheng worked in the Rheumatology and Immunology Section at the Wexner Medical Center of OSU.

He and his study organizations received more than $4.3 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health for programs, while also seeking funds from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, according to a criminal complaint unsealed this year.

Zheng acknowledged that he lied about applications to use NIH grants to improve China’s expertise in rheumatology and immunology, the government said.

Federal agents arrested Zheng in Alaska in May as he was trying to board a private flight to China.

Zhang faces up to five years in prison.

Are you worried about the presence of China in American schools?

Before moving to Ohio, Zheng worked at Southern California University and Penn State University, according to the government.

Ohio State fired Zheng after he “failed to disclose his extensive paid work at a foreign institution,” according to university spokesperson Ben Johnson.

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