Kilmer McCully, author of The Homocysteine Revolution, learned first hand the consequences of challenging the medical dogma on the exclusive role of cholesterol as a causative factor in developing heart disease. Some of his experiences are recounted in the 1997 article The Fall and Rise Of Kilmer McCully.
He was moved to an inferior laboratory in the basement, he lost staffers and his N.I.H. funding was running out. ”With the changes in my lab and the loss of some key collaborators, it was difficult to come up with new ideas,” he says. ”I felt very cut off from everybody, and there was no encouragement. Then they told me that if I didn’t renew my grant, I would definitely be out. Their view, I suppose, was that I was no longer productive. My view was that I was being discouraged at every turn…”
”Because his work was not in vogue… his insistence on what he was doing contributed to costing him his job…”
”It was worse than that you couldn’t get ideas funded that went in other directions than cholesterol… You were intentionally discouraged from pursuing alternative questions. I’ve never dealt with a subject in my life that elicited such an immediate hostile response…”
McCully says that his job search developed a pattern: he would hear of an opening, go for interviews and then the process would grind to a stop. Finally, he heard rumors of what he calls ”poison phone calls” from Harvard.