Findings of Research Misconduct

Notice that ORI has taken final action in the following case:

Based on the report of an investigation conducted by the University of Kentucky and ORI, ORI found that Eric J. Smart, PhD, former Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology, Department of Pediatrics and Physiology, University of Kentucky, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by grants R01HL062844, R01HL058475, R01HL064056, R01HL068059, R0 HL073693, R56DK063025, and P20RR105592.

ORI found that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying and/or fabricating data that were included in 10 published papers, 1 submitted manuscript, 7 grant applications, and 3 progress reports over a period of 10 years. Respondent reported experimental data for knockout mice that did not exist in 5 grant applications and 3 progress reports and also falsified and/or fabricated images in 45 figures.

Specifically, ORI finds that Respondent:

  • Falsely reported in Figure 14 and associated text in NIH grant applications R01HL07897601 and -01A1 that experiments were performed to determine if endothelial-specific caveolin-1 null mice were protected from saturated fatty acid-induced atherosclerosis, when these mutant mice did not exist in the laboratory at the time; Dr. Smart also falsely reported the use of these mice in related progress reports R01HL078976-02, -03, and -04 and in 3 additional NIH grant applications: Figure 11 in R01HL088150-01, Figure 11 in U54CA116853, and Figure 9 in R56DK063025-01A2
  • Falsified and/or fabricated images in NIH grant application R01HL078976-01A1 by duplicating and altering bands in 14 Western blot images and 1 RT-PCR image included in Figures 3, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15; false Western blots were also included in the earlier version of the grant application R01HL078976-01, Figures 3, 6, 11, 13, and 14
  • Falsified and/or fabricated Western blots and 1 RNase protection assay by duplicating and altering bands in 33 figures included in 10 published papers, 1 submitted manuscript, and 2 NIH grant applications. Specifically, false or fabricated images were included in:
    • Figures 5 and 7, J. Biol. Chem. 277(7):4925-31, 2002
    • Figure 4B, Am J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 291(6):C1271-8, 2006
    • Figures 2A, 3A, 6A, and 7A, Am J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 294(1):C295-305, 2008
    • Figures 3, 5, and 6, J. Lipid Res. 45:1444-1449, 2001
    • Figure 2A, J. Biol. Chem. 275(33):25595-99, 2000
    • Figures 2A/B/C and 4A/B, J. Biol. Chem. 277(26):23525-33, 2002
    • Figures 2B/D and 4, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101(10):3450-5, 2004
    • Figures 1A and 5B, J. Biol. Chem. 280(33):29543-50, 2005
    • Figures 1A, 2A/B, and 4A, J. Biol. Chem. 273:6525-6532, 1998
    • Figure 1B, Am J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 282:C935-46, 2002
    • Figures 2A, 4, 6B, 7, and 8 in a submitted manuscript
    • Figures 7A, 8A, 9A, and 10B in grant application HL093155-01
    • Figures 4, 7, and 13 in grant application HL068509-01A1.

Dr. Smart has entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement and has voluntarily agreed for a period of 7 years, beginning on October 23, 2012:

(1) To exclude himself from any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility or involvement in nonprocurement programs of the United States Government referred to as “covered transactions” pursuant to HHS’ Implementation (2 CFR part 376 et seq.) of OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Goverment-wide Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR part 180 (collectively the “Debarment Regulations”);
(2) To exclude himself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant; and
(3) To request that the following publications be retracted or corrected: J. Biol. Chem. 277(7):4925-31, 2002; Am J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 291(6):C1271-8, 2006; Am J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 294(1):C295-305, 2008; J. Lipid Res. 42:1444-1449, 2001; J. Biol. Chem. 275:25595, 2000; J. Biol. Chem. 277(26):23525-33, 2002; Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101(10):3450-5, 2004; J. Biol. Chem. 280(33):29543-50, 2005; J. Biol. Chem. 273:6525-6532, 1998; Am J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 282:C935-46, 2002.

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6 Comments »

  1. foo said

    wow.

  2. writedit said

    The Scientist offers a bit more back story, while Retraction Watch, which covered the original notice in the Federal Register in Nov, has a long string of comments.

  3. whimple said

    Not described in the ORI summary: the allegations of sexual for this harassment.

  4. Spiny Norman said

    Christ, what an asshole!

  5. Spiny Norman said

    …and another one: Paul Muchowski resigns from UCSF/Gladstone. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/S-F-scientist-resigns-after-faking-data-4158921.php

  6. [...] who resigned from Gladstone (as noted earlier here by Spiny Norman), submitted a signed, written apology to the scientific community (via Retraction Watch) in [...]

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