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Manitoba University Cuts Ties with Ebola Researcher Pending RCMP Investigation

July 16, 2019 2:45 PM | The Canadian Press

By The Canadian Press

National Microbiology Laboratory

The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg is shown in a Tuesday, May 19, 2009 photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG — The University of Manitoba says it has cut ties with an Ebola vaccine researcher pending the results of an RCMP investigation.

A spokesperson said the school has ended the non-salaried adjunct appointments of Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and her husband Keding Cheng.

Qiu, a renowned virologist who received her original medical training in China, helped develop a vaccine for the Ebola virus at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.

Cheng also worked at the lab as a researcher.

The Canadian Press has been unable to reach Qiu or Cheng for comment.

The Public Health Agency of Canada said on Monday that it was taking steps to address an “administrative matter” at the lab.


The agency said in a statement that it alerted the RCMP of a possible policy breach on May 24, adding that no employee of the lab is “under arrest or confined to their home.”

The laboratory is Canada’s highest-security infectious disease research facility dealing with deadly contagious germs.

The Public Health Agency said there is no risk to the public and work at the lab continues.

The RCMP in Manitoba have confirmed they received a referral from the health agency, but have not confirmed whether Qui or Cheng is being investigated.

In an English transcription posted on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website, spokesperson Geng Shuang said Monday that the Chinese Embassy in Canada has not received any notification that Chinese citizens were involved in the investigation.

CP - The Canadian Press