Former Moffitt Cancer Center CEO Alan List lands new job at N.C. firm

Megan Reeves, Tampa Bay Times
·2 min read

Dr. Alan List, who resigned in 2019 as the head of Moffitt Cancer Center over questions about China’s involvement in American-funded research, has found a new job.

He’s chief medical officer of biotechnology company Precision BioSciences in North Carolina, according to an April 15 news release. He’s also a member of the company’s 13-person senior leadership team.

List has been a clinical advisor to Precision’s Board of Directors since April 2020, after leaving Moffitt four months earlier, the release said. He’s been “intimately involved” in helping to develop the company’s lead allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy, which is used to fight cancer, and designed the clinical trial for it.

Matt Kane, chief executive officer and co-founder of Precision, said List will be a strong addition to the company, and that his leadership will be critical to its goals.

List could not be reached for comment. However, the news release quoted him saying that he looks forward to continuing work at Precision, and that he’s optimistic about what the company might accomplish.

“I’m also looking forward to interacting with the clinical investigators who are conducting our clinical trials at leading academic centers across the country,” he added.

List started at Moffitt in 2003, going on to hold various leadership positions while also working as a physician. He was the hospital’s president and chief executive officer from 2012 through the time he left in December 2019.

His resignation came as federal investigators found evidence linking List and others at Moffitt to exploitation of American-funded research by China. It sparked an investigation by Moffitt’s internal compliance office, too, which found several violations.

A report released by the office in January 2020 said List was recruited by Chinese Dr. Sheng Wei to join the Thousand Talents Program, created by China to enhance the country’s competitiveness. It said Wei helped List and other Moffitt employees set up personal Chinese bank accounts to receive tens of thousands of dollars in payments from the program.

The report charged List with persuading others to join Thousand Talents, and noted that all six employees involved in the controversy accepted cash honorariums, paid travel and other pay that had not been disclosed to Moffitt.

The findings threatened Moffitt’s reputation and drew the ire of Florida lawmakers, who opened their own investigation following Moffitt’s report. Many criticized the program as a way for China to improperly access “U.S. technology, intellectual property and know-how.”

List has not spoken publicly about the issue, and it does not appear to have been publicly acknowledged by Precision.

In its announcement for List, the company called him a “world-renowned hematologist.” It noted his contributions to cancer treatments and work that led to the development of Revlimid, an oral drug used to treat multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.