ORI Findings of Research Misconduct

Notice is hereby given that the ORI and the Assistant Secretary for Health have taken final action in the following case:

Based on the findings of an inquiry report by UCLA and additional analysis and information obtained by ORI during its oversight review, the U.S. PHS found that James David Lieber, Staff Research Associate, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, UCLA, engaged in research misconduct in research funded by grant R01 DA15390.

Mr. Lieber knowingly and intentionally falsified and fabricated multiple follow-up interviews, urine samples, and urine sample records of human subject study participants and entered such false and fabricated data into the study’s data base. A total of 914 follow-up interviews of opiate users were planned to be completed as part of a study of gender differences in a follow up of opiate users in California. Mr. Lieber was assigned to interview 53 of the 132 subjects located for the follow-up study. Over a six-month period, Mr. Lieber falsely claimed to have conducted face-to-face interviews for the study while subsequent contacts with the subjects revealed that they had not been interviewed for the study. A review by the institution determined that the respondent fabricated interviews for 20 of the 53 interviews assigned to him. In addition, he falsified the urine specimens for those 20 subjects and caused the entry of false information into the study tracking and locating data base for 11 subjects. Aggravating factors included the theft of $5180 for incentive payments to subjects and travel expenses.

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