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Richard, fresh off of a Twitter-inspired combing of Ellis' journals, found some research she had started that could be built into a diabetes clinical trial. He goes to Meredith and asks her to be on it, since he thinks she's the only one with the right to carry on her mother's work.
Meredith seems happy enough to finally be on the Alzheimer's trial but the Chief lays it on thick and she seems to waiver for a moment. But after continuing work with her own patients she realizes that she wants to try and cure her mother's disease rather than continue her research, and she "gives" the study to Richard with her blessing.