Posted on Sunday 19 January 2014

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me!

One subplot of the story detailed in when?… is the NIMH funding issue. In essence, the NIMH paid Dr. Gibbons around $5 M between 2002 and 2010 to develop his Computerized Adaptive Tests, some of which went for subcontracting with Dr. Kupfer’s Department of Psychiatry in Pittsburgh for the clinical testing.  And then they formed a company to market their test as a commercial product as soon as the grant ran out [Gibbons, Kupfer, Frank, and Pilkonis]. I can’t see any way to look at that other than the NIMH providing the start-up capital for their entrepreneurial enterprise. Plus there’s the value-added ticket to the academic journals as a way of advertising their product. I guess we could throw in having the Chair of the DSM-5 Task Force listed as one of Our People as more value-added:

[from the NIH RePORTER]

That doesn’t seem right to me. But, there’s more! He’s doing it again!
Project Number: 1R01MH100155-01
Contact PI / Project Leader: GIBBONS, ROBERT D
Awardee Organization: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

We propose to develop, test, and apply a new computerized adaptive testing approach to measuring severity of depression, anxiety, mania, disruptive behavior, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders in children and adolescents (9-17 years). This proposal contributes both methodologically and scientifically to research on the assessment of pediatric psychopathology. The proposed work will advance mental health research and improve psychiatric screening and monitoring in primary care. The methodological work proposed in this application is driven by a fundamental scientific challenge that has limited progress in measuring psychopathology in pediatric populations. We need to understand how the measurement of psychopathology in youth changes from childhood through adolescence. Our proposed work includes new statistical methodology for a Computerized Adaptive Test (CAT) based on multidimensional Item Response Theory (IRT) that allows us to tailor the measurement process to each child’s developmental level (vertical scaling). The overarching aim of this application is to develop a CAT for children and adolescents that achieves the following goals…
hat tip to jamzo…   
It’s another NIMH Grant that looks to be for 5 years that started in May 2013. They’ve already collected almost a million dollars to develop CAT tests for childhood psychiatric conditions – things like "major depressive disorder (MDD), ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), anxiety disorders (AD; generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social phobia, specific phobia), and bipolar disorder (BD)." Little question in my mind that the NIMH is either wittingly or unwittingly funding yet another start-up for Dr. Gibbons and his associates to add to their commercial endeavor:
I wonder if PAI [Psychiatric Assessments Inc] or ATT [Adaptive Testing Technologies] were declared in the application for this NIMH grant? or if there were any discussions about what would come of these tests? Like the tests in the last post, it would seem to me like if the taxpayers are paying for their development, they ought to remain in the public domain rather than feeding the grant recipient’s private company…
    January 19, 2014 | 1:36 PM

    These types of expensive favors are typical of an old boys’ network.

    I’m sure Dr. Gibbons feels secure following the example of Alan Schatzberg and other silverbacks.

    Steve Lucas
    January 19, 2014 | 3:23 PM

    The Chicago Way is not what you know, but who you know, and using government dollars for personal gain is the goal.

    Steve Lucas

    January 20, 2014 | 12:44 AM

    Do you know if it’s possible to get access to the full grant document? The summary (just for the first item)
    doesn’t say anything about PAI or ATT. The organization is just University of Chicago.

    January 20, 2014 | 12:47 AM

    I can’t find it either. I expect we have to write or do a FOIA request…

    January 20, 2014 | 3:48 AM

    As if $744,688 in funding for this project in FY 2013 wasn’t enough, they applied for (and received) a $184,061 supplement.


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