AUSTIN (AP) – The state’s $3 billion cancer research initiative has changed course and will give a scientific review to an already approved project that led to a top agency executive resigning in protest.

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has come under fire over a $20 million award in March to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. It’s the largest grant in the agency’s history but was reviewed only by a panel that evaluates commercial impact.

Dr. Alfred Gilman, the agency’s chief scientific officer, was overruled in his effort to allow another panel to evaluate the project’s scientific merit. He now plans to step down in October.

CPRIT announced late Wednesday that the M.D. Anderson project will now get a scientific review before any money is given.

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