David Sabatini

Status: Resolved
Role: Faculty
Position: Professor
Discipline: Life Sciences
Specific Discipline: Biology
Outcome Year: 2021
Outcome Category: Suspended / Leave / Restrictions
Specific Outcome: "The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) on Friday fired prominent biologist David Sabatini after an investigation of his workplace behavior. Sabatini at the same time resigned from the Whitehead Institute, the nonprofit research organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where his large HHMI-supported lab was located.

“David Sabatini … is no longer associated with either the Whitehead Institute or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, effective immediately,” Whitehead Institute Director Ruth Lehmann wrote in an email to staff. An investigation by an outside law firm, she wrote, “found that Dr. Sabatini violated the Institute’s policies on sexual harassment among other policies unrelated to research misconduct.”

A spokesperson for HHMI, which had funded Sabatini’s work at the institute since 2008, wrote, “HHMI is committed to providing an equitable and inclusive work environment for all our employees. … HHMI has ended Dr. Sabatini’s appointment as an Investigator, after a determination that he violated HHMI’s workplace behavior policy.”

Sabatini remains a tenured professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where Whitehead Institute members have faculty appointments. "

"“In sum, the investigation found that Dr. Sabatini violated the Institute’s policies on sexual harassment among other Whitehead policies unrelated to research misconduct,” "

"A prominent biology professor and biotech founder at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been placed on administrative leave following an investigation into claims of sexual harassment, according to a letter from the dean of MIT’s School of Science that was sent to biology faculty members Friday.

Dr. David Sabatini, who leads the Sabatini Lab at MIT’s Whitehead Institute, “is no longer associated” with the institute or the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Dr. Nergis Mavalvala wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe. Mavalvala wrote that the investigator’s report “raises very serious concerns about sexual and workplace harassment.”"

Last updated: Aug 23, 2021 7:26 pm