To whom it may concern,
We, the alumni of New York University School of Medicine, are writing today to declare our opposition to the recent news that NYU is planning to hire Dr. David M. Sabatini.
Student and postdoc trainees, at NYU and beyond, are the most vulnerable members of our scientific community. We have directly experienced and witnessed the gross inequities facing racial, gender, and other underrepresented minority groups, as well as the staggering lack of trainee power within scientific education. These are well-documented systemic issues that drive mental health consequences in trainees and degrade our capacity to thrive and discover.
Dr. Sabatini has been infamously fired from HHMI and forced to resign from MIT Whitehead Institute for violating sexual harassment policies. In addition to this thorough investigation, there are ongoing court cases stating publicly that he cultivated a toxic work environment through sexist and racist commentary and threats of retaliation. Despite this staggering evidence of multifaceted misconduct, and further accusations of data manipulation, the NYU leadership has now elected to pursue hiring him in direct violation of our community values.
NYU is a world leader in research and education that touts a dedication to fostering a safe and supportive learning environment for trainees. There are countless faculty, trainees, and administrators still at NYU that show steadfast dedication to ethical conduct, effective mentorship, and a culture of mutual respect. However, the higher up decision to recruit Dr. Sabatini betrays trainee trust, undermines NYU’s mission, and impedes the capacity of NYU to offer a safe learning environment to future trainees. The world is watching NYU set this dangerous precedent and the decision to potentially hire Dr. Sabatini threatens the legitimacy and safety of the worldwide scientific enterprise.
We urge NYU Langone leadership, specifically Dean and CEO Dr. Robert Grossman and Executive Vice President & Vice Dean for Science Dr. Dafna Bar-Sagi to rescind any offers to hire Dr. Sabatini and, instead, devote themselves to efforts that protect and empower trainees at NYU.
With deep respect for scientific training,
Alumni Trainees of NYU School of Medicine and other concerned citizens of the scientific enterprise