Foreign Scientists Are Stranded By Post-9/11 Security Concerns

Monday, January 20th, 2003

This hits a bit close to home — well, not to me, but to my Irish scientist friends — and to a mutual acquaintance who’s back in Ireland. From Foreign Scientists Are Stranded By Post-9/11 Security Concerns:

Heng Zhu, a genomics whiz and post-doctoral fellow at Yale University, is a meticulously careful molecular biologist. Last April, however, he made a careless mistake.

Dr. Zhu, 35 years old, let his U.S. work visa expire and had to return to his native China before the State Department would consider issuing him a new one. Nearly 10 months later, he’s still waiting in Beijing to find out if he can come back, despite letters, phone calls and petition drives by Yale officials and other supporters. His absence has derailed work under a $1.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to understand how thousands of genes work, a process that could ultimately aid drug discovery.

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