‘Genius’ MIT scientist denied NYU job after purported lab fling turns into sex harassment case


A renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologist who was axed after having what he said was a consensual fling with a much younger colleague, said the mushrooming scandal forced him on the unemployment line.

David Sabatini, 54, whose research involved unraveling how tumors develop, resigned from MIT last month and has been surviving on employment after fellow scientist Kristin Knouse claimed he “groomed” and “coerced” her into a sexual relationship, according to a report and court papers.

A longtime friend and dean at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine tried to offer him a job, but after an uproar, the school announced on May 3 that it would not hire him despite the fact that colleagues described him in a recent article as one of the world’s greatest scientists — a “genius” in line for the Nobel Prize.

“What wormhole did my life take, to … protests and being called a sexual predator? What quirk in the universe allowed this to happen?” said Sabatini, who has denied wrongdoing and noted Knouse did not work in his lab or report to him.

In an October lawsuit against MIT, Sabatini said that his relationship with Knouse, who is 21 years his junior, was consensual — and told a reporter he was shocked to find himself the subject of protests at NYU when the school explored the possibility of hiring him.


Join now!