Findings of Scientific Misconduct

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

Based on the report of an investigation conducted by the University of Iowa and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, this settlement resolves proposed U.S. PHS findings that Jusan Yang, MS, MD, , former Assistant Research Scientist, UI, engaged in scientific misconduct in research supported by grant R01 HL48058 by falsifying and fabricating data that were reported in a scientific manuscript intended for publication entitled “Increased renin transcription after inhibition of NF-YA with RNAi reveals through regulation of Ea element and Ear2′ and at two professional scientific meetings.

Specifically, PHS found that:

1. Respondent falsified Figure 1 in the manuscript that purports to show the effectiveness of four plasmids targeting different parts of the NF-Y coding sequence in inhibiting NF-Y expression by (1) Claiming in Figure 1A that the loading control bands were obtained by reprobing a Western blot with antibody to GAPDH when he used a prominent background (nonspecific) band from the blot probed with antibody to NF-YA, (2) inappropriately enhancing and manipulating the NF-YA band in Figure 1A claiming decreased expression of NF-YA in cultures transfected with 2 of the 4 constructs, and (3) falsely claiming in Figure 1B that the quantitative data for NF-YA expression obtained by scanning Western blot films were based on an n of 4 and that the expression of NF-YA in cultures treated with two constructs was statistically significantly lower than the control. Versions of the same falsified blot and histogram also were reported in several of the Respondent’s public presentations.

2. Respondent falsified Figures 4, 5, 6, and 8 in the manuscript by claiming in the figure legends that 4 independent repetitions contributed to each figure’s results when the actual numbers of repetitions were n=3 for Figure 4, n=1 for Figure 5, n=3 for Figure 6, and n=2 for Figure 8; in Figure 5, error bars based on the Student’s t test further falsely claim that n was >2. He further falsified Figures 6 and 8 by reporting smaller standard errors of the mean than were obtained from the actual data, thereby giving an enhanced impression of rigor for the reported experiments.

Respondent reported Figures 5, 6, and 8 (without legends) at the American Heart Association Council for High Blood Pressure meeting in September 2003, and he reported Figures 5 and 8 at the Experimental Biology meeting in April 2004.

Respondent stated that he does not intend to apply for or engage in PHS-supported research.


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