Gilman had always been involved in important research. He'd worked with many big pharmaceutical companies--Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson--on drug trials, trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's. In the last decade, he also began consulting with Wall Street investors.
In 2002, Gilman began serving on the Gerson Lehrman Group's scientific advisory board; in 2005, he started working for investment firm Pequot Capital; and in 2007, he became a paid expert for Longitude Capital. In each case, he did exactly as he'd done with all his other consulting work over the years, as specified in the U-M faculty handbook: He "obtain[ed] approval from the appropriate University authority, usually the dean or the director of the academic unit, [for] outside employment ..."
His bosses at the U-M approved of Gilman's wielding his expertise on Wall Street. In fact, just like his consulting work for med tech businesses and drug firms, it was viewed as a positive.