Ouster of researcher may imperil HIV work

SFGate.com – Sabin Russell – Chronicle Medical Writer

Four years after UCSF officials successfully defended the controversial work of an AIDS researcher under attack by a Republican-controlled Congress, the university is ousting the veteran professor, leaving up to $1 million in his grant money unspent and the future of HIV prevention programs for transgender people in doubt.

Tooru Nemoto, 56, is a Japanese citizen and longtime U.S. resident. He has been studying Asian and transgender AIDS issues for much of his 16-year career at UCSF, and he charges that the university’s decision not to renew his contract is motivated by racial prejudice, and lack of concern about his transgender clientele.

Nemoto charges that his pronunciation of English was ridiculed by an official at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, or CAPS, the UCSF organization for which he worked as an associate professor.