Notice is hereby given that ORI and the Assistant Secretary for Health have taken final action in the following case:
Rashanda Robertson, former Research Coordinator, Department of General Medicine, Emory University, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by grant K23HL077597. Specifically, the Respondent admitted that she fabricated enrollment forms to create enrollees who did not exist and falsified the data of some enrollees who did not exist to cover up the data fabrication. To create the fabricated enrollment forms, the Respondent:
- Identified patients who were eligible for the study based on their charge screens but who were considered ineligible after a face-to-face screen;
- Obtained patients’ names from the screening records and used the names to obtain the personal information (address and telephone numbers) on these patients from the site hospital’s pharmacy online system;
- Created a fabricated enrollment form for each of the non-existent enrollees; specifically, Respondent fabricated a participant’s name by using the name of a patient who had failed screening and then fabricated the date of enrollment by using the date of the patient’s screening failure; using this method, Respondent fabricated the participant names, personal information, and enrollment dates on twenty-eight (28) enrollment forms;
- Dispersed the fabricated enrollment forms among those enrollment forms, beginning around participant number 136 through 212;
- Falsified the numbering of the enrollment forms for some individuals who had actually been enrolled to disperse the fabricated enrollment forms among the authentic enrollment forms; Respondent falsified the status of some actual participants to include them in the intervention group, even though they had not actually received the intervention; Respondent falsified the data on both the enrollment form and the follow-up form for 16 participants between numbers 137 and 198;
- Respondent falsified data on the enrollment forms and follow-up forms for participant numbers 153 and 154 by changing their enrollment numbers.
ORI acknowledges that the Respondent was remorseful.
Fortunately, the K23 PI has been quite productive in terms of publications (per RePORTER Results tab) and has taken a new position with promotion … but no R01 or other mechanism funding as yet (though K23 was suspended/extended from Sept 2007 to June 2010, probably due to change in institution and misconduct investigation).