Findings of Scientific Misconduct

Notice is hereby given that ORI found that Dr. Homer D. Venters, former graduate student, Neuroscience Program, UIUC, engaged in scientific misconduct in research supported by R01MH051569, F30MH12558, and R01AG06246. Specifically, PHS found that the Respondent committed misconduct in science:

  • By intentionally and knowingly preparing and including duplicate image data in Figures 5 and 10 of PHS fellowship application F31MH12558, “Neurodegeneration via TNF-alpha inhibition of IGF-1,” submitted in 1999, which was funded as F30MH12558 from June 1, 2000, to May 31, 2003. Because the duplicate data were labeled as having been obtained from different experiments, the results for at least one of the two figures were intentionally falsified and constitute an act of scientific misconduct.
  • By intentionally and knowingly preparing and including duplicate image data in Figure 3 and/or 4 of a manuscript submitted and published as: Venters, H.D., et al. “A New Mechanism of Neurodegeneration: A Proinflammatory Cytokine Inhibits Receptor Signaling by a Survival Peptide.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. 96:9879-9884, 1999.
  • By preparing and providing to his dissertation committee in March 2000 a thesis proposal entitled “An Alternate Mechanism of Neurodegeneration: Silencing of Insulin-like Growth Factor-I survival signals by Tumor Necrosis Factor-[alpha],’ which contained five falsified figures: Figures 1.3, 1.4a, 2.1b, 2.3e, and 2.5b. In each figure, he reused data within the same figure or in another thesis proposal figure as representing differently treated samples or as data obtained with different immunoblotting antisera.
  • In March and April 2001, Respondent included several of the same falsified figures as in the thesis proposal and multiple additional falsified figures in his dissertation “Silencing of Insulin-like Growth Factor I Neuronal Survival Signals by Tumor Necrosis Factor-[alpha].’ In all, Figures 3.3, 3.4a, 3.4b, 4.1b, 4.3a, 4.5b, 5.1a, 5.2, 5.4a, 5.5a, 5.6a, 5.7a, and 5.8a were falsified. In each instance, he assembled figures by reusing significant data, on some occasions after manipulating the orientation of the data, either within the same figure or in other figures related to his thesis and represented the data falsely as coming from different samples or different experiments.
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    1. DrugMonkey said

      Think they’ll be pulling that doctorate?

    2. I can understand why people commit fraud. What I can’t understand is how they can do it so fucking stupidly.

    3. bikemonkey said

      Much as when the bank robber who uses the same disguise only gets caught after knocking over the twelfth branch, this always makes me worry about the numbers of the slightly-more-clever who get away with fakery. These resolved cases always seem to involve multiple fakes, usually multiple uses of the same fake which just multiplies the chances of getting busted.

    4. Noam Harel said

      Who is the PI? Any word on his/her failure to monitor/verify (or worse)??

      Per CRISP, the PI of R01MH051569 is Dr. Keith Kelley. UIUC rather than ORI would be the one to consider his supervisory responsibility. Oddly, I can find no trace of the cited NIA grant in CRISP (going back to 1990 anyway). -writedit

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