American Schientist, Charles Lieber
(Photo: Kris Snibbe - Kris Snibbe/Harvard Public Affairs & Communications on Wikimedia Commons)

Until late January, Charles Lieber was living a private life as an elite scientist in America. His laboratory at Harvard University studied things like how to mix small electronics with the brain.

More so, during his free time, he developed prized pumpkins in front of his residence.

Then, towards the latter part of January, the FBI came to arrest him. Presently, this American scientist is facing charges of trading his skills, knowledge, and expertise for money and not telling the truth about it. 

Prosecutors claimed Lieber set up a China-based lab to be paid with hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Chinese government and then denied involvement in the said money to the American investigators.

Also, Peter Levitt, the scientist's lawyer, declined to speak with NPR about the accusations. Nevertheless, others closely watching and following the case said it raises essential doubts on scientific openness.

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5 Facts about Lieber

The latest strain of coronavirus said to be accountable for COVID-19 is said to have appeared from a food market in China, specifically in Wuhan in December last year. Nevertheless, according to theories, Lieber was the one who created this deadly infection, which has now infected over 1 million and killed over 70,000 people worldwide. While investigations are ongoing and the allegations have yet to be proven (right or wrong), here are some facts you need to know about the American scientist.

Lieber is a Well-Known American Chemist

Considered a pioneer in both nanotechnology and nanoscience, Lieber has significant contributions in the use of nanoelectronic mechanisms in biology, not to mention having been a mentor to many nanoscience leaders.

In 2011, the chemist was acknowledged as the decade's leading scientist due to his accomplishments in the field.

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He Authored Several Nanoscience Papers

Since Lieber started his career as a chemist, he has published around 400 papers in various peer-reviewed journals. He has also contributed to numerous nanoscience books. 

More so, he has invented over 50 U.S. patents, as well as applications, and continues to research within his field of expertise. Lieber's present work concentrates on electronics, specifically those "within the central nervous system."

He Worked for Two of America's Leading Universities

In the late 80s, he served at Columbia University's Department of Chemistry as an Assistant Professor. After five years, he transferred to Harvard University. To date, he is holding a joint appointment at Harvard's Chemical Biology and Department of Chemistry.

A Self-Confessed Competitive Professional

In his past interviews, Lieber admitted he felt the pressure in getting things done fast, and, ideally, first. He also admitted always wanting "to break new ground." He added, too, that what he likes to do as a chemist or scientist, is to work hard on things that have not yet existed in other studies.

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He Was Arrested for Allegedly Partnering with a Chinese University

As mentioned, Lieber was arrested in late January on charges of falsifying his statements to law enforcement on a supposed collaboration he had with a Chinese university.

With this, officials found that in 2013, Lieber wrote an agreement between Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) and Harvard University to conduct advanced studies.

The Chinese government allegedly forged the partnership to gain an advantage in both military and economic advances.