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Former Penn Medicine cancer researcher Steven W. Johnson was sentenced to one year in prison on Tuesday for stealing funds from a federally-funded research program at the University. | DP File Photo

Former Penn Medicine cancer researcher was sentenced to prison on Tuesday for stealing funds from a federally-funded research program at the University.

Steven W. Johnson will serve one year for defrauding a Penn Med ovarian cancer research project funded by the United States Department of Defense, according to the official complaint. He is also ordered to pay the University over $69,000 in restitution, though the DOD granted his research project a total of over $655,000 from June 2007 to December 2009.

Johnson was found guilty of ordering “primers,” which are used to identify gene expression patterns in medical testing, through the University. He then tested those primers using Penn’s medical equipment and sold them privately for his own company, RealTimePrimers.

The complaint cites 10 instances of Johnson selling and shipping these primers to universities and labs across the country and the world — to Korea, D.C., Tennessee, California and Colorado, among other places.

Johnson worked for the medical school for almost 12 years. In April, he pleaded guilty for misusing the federally-allocated resources to support his for-profit business that he ran alongside his wife.

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