Findings of Misconduct in Science/Research Misconduct

2013 Update: As reported in The Scientist and Retraction Watch, Bois reached a settlement agreement with ORI that allows him to apply for federal funding but does not contest the misconduct findings.

Update: The Scientist and Nature News report that Dr. Bois successfully appealed to a federal judge for a new hearing of his case. ORI may appeal the granting of this hearing, but in the meantime, the judge lifted Bois’ debarment from federal funding.

I kept most of the text from the original announcement …

Notice is hereby given that on May 16, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Debarring Official, on behalf of the Secretary of HHS, issued a final notice of debarment based on the misconduct in science and research misconduct findings of the ORI in the following case:

Based on the findings of an investigation report by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and additional analysis conducted by ORI during its oversight review, ORI found that Philippe Bois, Ph.D., former postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biochemistry, St. Jude, engaged in misconduct in science and research misconduct in research funded by R01GM071596, P30CA021765, P01CA071907, R01CA072996, and R01CA100603. ORI found that the Respondent knowingly and intentionally falsified data reported in 2 papers:

  1. Bois, P.R., Izeradjene, K., Houghton, P.J., Cleveland, J.L., Houghton, J.A., & Grosveld, C.G. “FOXO1a acts as a selective tumor suppressor in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.’ J. Cell. Biol. 170:903-912, September 2005 (hereafter referred to as “JCB 2005′); and
  2. Bois, P.R., Borgon, R.A., Vornhein, C., & Izard, T. “Structural dynamics of a-actinin-vinculin interactions.’ Mol. Cell. Biol. 25:6112-6122, July 2005 (hereafter referred to as “MCB 2005′).

Specifically, ORI found:

Respondent committed misconduct in science and research misconduct by knowingly and intentionally falsely reporting in Figure 1A of JCB 2005 that FOXO1a was not expressed in cell lysates from alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma tumor biopsies, by selecting a specific FOXO1a immunoblot to show the desired result.

Respondent engaged in misconduct in science and research misconduct by falsifying data presented in Figure 4B of MCB 2005 showing SDS-PAGE for papain digestion of VBS3 and aVBS, by falsely labeling lane 1 to represent papain only digestion, by falsely labeling lane 5 to represent papain digestion of the aVBS peptide, and by falsely inserting a band in lane 3 to represent the aVBS peptide.

ORI issued a charge letter enumerating the above findings of misconduct in science and proposing HHS administrative actions. Dr. Bois subsequently requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge of the Departmental Appeals Board to dispute these findings. ORI moved to dismiss Dr. Bois’ hearing request. On May 16, 2011, the Judge ruled in ORI’s favor and dismissed Dr. Bois’ hearing request. The Judge found that Dr. Bois had not raised a genuine dispute over facts or law material to the findings of research misconduct and dismissed the hearing request pursuant to 42 CFR 93.504(a)(2),(3).

Thus, the misconduct in science and research misconduct findings set forth above became effective, and the following administrative actions have been implemented for a period of 3 years, beginning on May 26, 2011:

  1. Dr. Bois is debarred from eligibility for any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility for, or involvement in, nonprocurement programs of the United States Government, referred to as “covered transactions,’ pursuant to HHS’ Implementation of OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (2 CFR 376 et seq.); and
  2. Dr. Bois is prohibited from serving in any advisory capacity to the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), including but not limited to service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant.

1 Comment »

  1. writedit said

    Update: The Scientist and Nature News report that Dr. Bois successfully appealed to a federal judge for a new hearing of his case. ORI may appeal the granting of this hearing, but in the meantime, the judge lifted Bois’ debarment from federal funding.

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