The Central Intelligence Agency secretly spent nearly $3,900 in 1956 on dog research at the University of Maryland to develop a drug to alleviate human hypertension, according to documents released to the school yesterday by the agency.
Dr. John Krantz, a former head of the university's pharmacology department who got the money, said he was never told the funds came from the CIA. A research collegue at the school suggested he apply for the funds, Krantz said, and he received the money from the Geschikter Fund for Medical Research, a frequent covert conduit for money used in the CIA's mind control experiments during the 1950s and 1960s known as Project MK-ULTRA.
"I took a dim view of the whole Geschikter operation then," said Krantz, who is retired, "and I take an even dimmer view now."
Krantz, who lives near Baltimore, said he met with Charles F. Geschikter, founder of the fund, during discussions on the project and found him "a superficial scientist." Geschikter ran a cancer research program at Georgetown University and also administered the fund with money from private philanthropic sources and from the CIA.
Geschikter has been unavailable for comment since information about MK-ULTRA was made public by the CIA earlier this month.
The documents on the hupertension experiment were turned over to University of Maryland officials yesterday. The school was one of about 80 notified in the past week by the CIA that they were part of MK-ULTRA either with or without their knowledge.
The hypertension experiment at Maryland was among "special studies embracing pharmacological testing and evaluation of drugs of interest to TSD [the CIA's tehcnical services division]," according to the documents.
Specifically, they noted the experiment dealt with "the effect on blood vessels of the camphoric acid derivatives," the documents said. The fragmentary records released to the university give no indication of what use the intelligence agency made of the information.
Maryland is the first institution among those which were part of MK-CLTRA to receive documents from the CIA. A university spokesman said yesterday that he was told by CIA officials that the dog experiment was the only part of the program conducted there.
Several other schools, including Georgetown, George Washington and Harvard, have said they were also part of the program and have requested additional information from the CIA.
Documents obtained by The Washington Post reveal that senior directors of the National Institute of Mental Health "probably" knew that the CIA funneled money to the institute to administer LSD and other drugs to federal prisoners at Lexington, Ky.
It has been reported that drug addicts at the Addiction Research Center in Lexington were given drugs as rewards for taking part in CIA experiments. The CIA supplied $300,000 through the Office of Naval Research between 1954 and 1962 to pay for the experiments.
An October, 1975, report on involvement in LSD testing by the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration, which includes NIMH, said knowledge of the source of funds was limited to senior staff members at the Addiction Research Center and "was probably discussed with the NLMH scientific directors."
The report said that Dr. Harris Isbell, then director of the center, was approached by Sidney Gottlieh, the CIA man in charge of MK-ULTRA, who told him that his research with LSD "was important to national interests." The report goes on to say that "without specifying a precise interest on the part of the CIA, Mr. Gottlieb stated that the CIA would provide money to continue these studies."