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Stanford University has asked Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. of Provo to stop using the name of one of the school's professors in the company's marketing materials, the school said Friday.
But the California institution said it still has a research contract with Nu Skin that runs through 2014.
The news agency Reuters reported Thursday that it had obtained a copy of the letter in which the school asked the multilevel marketer of anti-aging and nutritional products to stop naming geneticist Stuart Kim as a "Nu Skin Partner" in developing its ageLOC products.
"At the request of Dr. Stuart Kim, a letter was sent by Stanford to Nu Skin requesting Dr. Kim's name be removed from the company's marketing materials and websites as Dr. Kim is no longer involved with research funded by the company," the university said in a press release put out by Nu Skin on Friday that apparently was aimed at clearing up questions about its relationship with the Provo company.
Stanford said that since 1999 the company has funded nearly $5.8 million in research in its Department of Dermatology. Current research is funded with $1.5 million from Nu Skin and runs through 2014, the school said.
Nu Skin said that in May 2010 a research agreement was signed between Nu Skin and Stanford in which the company agreed to provide the funds for "the identification of master regulators and epigenetic changes to human skin aging."
Kim joined the Nu Skin Scientific Advisory Board at that time and collaborated on the research proposal, the company said.
"Stanford University subsequently removed Dr. Kim from the project and asked that Nu Skin work directly with Dr. Alfred Lane and Dr. Anne Chang," Nu Skin spokeswoman Sydnee Fox said in an email Friday. "The substance of the letter we received from Stanford University requested that we remove a reference to a publication by Dr. Kim. Furthermore, Dr. Kim is no longer a member of the Nu Skin Scientific Advisory Board and is no longer affiliated with the company."