Rabat – Galvani Bioelectronics, owned by GlaxoSmithKline, has fired Moroccan scientist Moncef Slaoui for alleged sexual misconduct.
The company cited an investigation that was launched after it received a letter in February regarding alleged “sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct,” according to the Washington Post.
The news outlet reported the alleged sexual misconduct goes back to “several years ago.”
The company also recruited a law firm to investigate the allegations against Slaoui.
“This action was prompted by one complaint which we acted on swiftly and decisively,” the company’s spokeswoman said, emphasizing that this was the first “sexual harassment allegation” against Slaoui.
The company also informed employees that Slaoui’s name would be removed from its development facility in Rockville, MD.
“Dr. Slaoui’s behaviors are wholly unacceptable. They represent an abuse of his leadership position, violate company policies, and are contrary to the strong values that define GSK’s culture,’’ the company argued.
Slaoui, who was the former head of the US’ Operation Wrap Speed, is a well-respected scientist in his field.
Last year, former US President Donald Trump made him the chief scientist of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine development program.
The Moroccan scientist made international headlines, with his high profile in the development of vaccines and treatments.
Slaoui is a holder of a Ph.D. in molecular biology and immunology from the Free University of Brussels, now known as Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
He completed his postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.
He worked tirelessly to fight under-researched diseases that disproportionately impact vulnerable communities in the developing world.
He oversaw the development of several vaccines against cervical cancer, pneumococcal disease, and gastroenteritis.
Slaoui has not yet responded to the sexual misconduct allegations.