Findings of Research Misconduct x4

Today’s quartet …

Notice is hereby given that ORI has taken final action in the following case:

Based on an investigation conducted by Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Helen Freeman, PhD, former HMS Postdoctoral Fellow at BIDMS, engaged in research misconduct in research supported
by R37 DK053477.

ORI found that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by knowingly and intentionally falsifying 3 figures and/or legends and 1 supplemental movie legend in a manuscript submitted for publication to the journal Nature (Freeman, H.C., Kong, D., Sidman, R.L., & Lowell, B. “Inhibition of UCP2 Prevents Neurodegenerative Diseases in Mice’). Specifically, ORI found that Respondent:

  • falsified Figure 6 and its legend in a manuscript submitted to Nature by claiming that the experiment represented histological and rotarod results from 5 week old pcd3J-/- mice treated with saline or pcd3J-/- mice treated with genipin when the genotype, treatment conditions, numbers of mice used, and mice age were not as claimed; these falsified data also were presented to a colleague for use in related experiments
  • falsified Figure 4, Supplementary Figure 3, and Supplementary Movie 1 and/or its legends in a manuscript submitted to Nature by claiming that the knockout of UCP2 rescues the ataxic phenotype of pcd3J-/- mice when she knew this to be false.

Dr. Freeman has voluntarily agreed for a period of 3 years, beginning on May 6, 2014:

(1) To have her research supervised if employed by an institution that receives or applies for U.S. PHS funding; Respondent agreed that prior to the submission of an application for PHS support for a research project on which the Respondent’s participation is proposed and prior to Respondent’s participation in any capacity on PHS-supported research, Respondent shall ensure that a plan for supervision of Respondent’s duties is submitted to ORI for approval; the supervision plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of Respondent’s research contribution; Respondent agreed that she shall not participate in any PHS-supported research until such a supervision plan is submitted to and approved by ORI; Respondent agreed to maintain responsibility for compliance with the agreed-upon supervision plan;

(2) that any institution employing her shall submit, in conjunction with each application for PHS funds, or report, manuscript, or abstract involving PHS-supported research in which Respondent is involved, a certification to ORI that the data provided by Respondent are based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract; and

(3) to exclude herself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant.

***

Notice is hereby given that ORI has taken final action in the following case:

Based on the reports of investigations conducted by Harvard Medical School and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Zhihua Zou, PhD, former Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neurobiology, HMS, and former Staff Scientist, Division of Basic Sciences, FHCRC, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by R01 DC001622 and R01 DC004842.

ORI found that Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying data that were included in 2 publications:

1. Zou, Z., Horowitz, L.F., Montmayeur, J.P., Snapper, S., & Buck, L.B. “Genetic tracing reveals a stereotyped sensory map in the olfactory cortex.’ Nature 414:173-179, 2001 (hereafter referred to as “Nature 2001′).

2. Zou, Z., Li, F., & Buck, L.B. “Odor maps in the olfactory cortex.’ Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:7724-7729, 2005 (hereafter referred to as “PNAS 2005′).

As a result of the investigations, both publications have been retracted.

Specifically, ORI finds that Respondent:

Falsified Figures 2k, 2l, 3a, 3f, 3h, and 3i in Nature 2001 and Figure 5C(b) in PNAS 2005 by manipulating the images to alter the number and location of positively stained cells in the olfactory bulb and olfactory cortex of mice.

Dr. Zou has entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement and has voluntarily agreed for a period of 3 years, beginning on July 9, 2014:

(1) That the administrative actions delineated in (2)-(4) below will be required for 3 years after the effective date of the Agreement, beginning on the date of Respondent’s employment in a research position in which he receives or applies for U.S. PHS support; however, if within 3 years of the effective date of the Agreement, Respondent has not obtained employment in a research position in which he receives or applies for PHS support, the administrative actions in (2)-(4) will no longer apply;

(2) to have any PHS-supported research supervised; Respondent agrees that prior to the submission of an application for PHS support for a research project on which the Respondent’s participation is proposed and prior to Respondent’s participation in any capacity on PHS-supported research, Respondent shall ensure that a plan for supervision of Respondent’s duties is submitted to ORI for approval; the supervision plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of Respondent’s research; Respondent agrees that he shall not participate in any PHS-supported research until such a supervision plan is submitted to and approved by ORI; Respondent agrees to maintain responsibility for compliance with the agreed upon supervision plan;

(3) that any institution employing him shall submit, in conjunction with each application for PHS funds, or report, manuscript, or abstract involving PHS-supported research in which Respondent is involved, a certification to ORI that the data provided by Respondent are based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract; and

(4) to exclude himself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant.

***

Notice is hereby given that ORI has taken final action in the following case:

Based on the Respondent’s admission, the report of an inquiry conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Dr. Jun Fu, PhD former Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neuro-Oncology, MDACC, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by CA56041 and CA127001.

The Respondent has admitted to knowingly and intentionally falsifying Figure 8a in the following publication:

“Novel HSP90 inhibitor NVP-HSP990 targets cell-cycle regulators to ablate Olig2-positive glioma tumor-initiating cells.’ Cancer Res. 73(10):3062-74, 2013 May 15.

Specifically, the Respondent falsified survival times of mice to show that NVP-HSP990 prolonged survival rates in glioblastoma tumor bearing mice when experimental data were incomplete and unusable.

As a result of its inquiry, MDACC has recommended that the senior author of this paper take any appropriate steps with the journal to correct the scientific literature.

Dr. Fu has entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement (Agreement) and has voluntarily agreed for a period of 2 years, beginning on July 15, 2014:

(1) To have his research supervised; Respondent agrees that prior to the submission of an application for U.S. PHS support for a research project on which the Respondent’s participation is proposed and prior to Respondent’s participation in any capacity on PHS-supported research, Respondent shall ensure that a plan for supervision of Respondent’s duties is submitted to ORI for approval; the supervision plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of Respondent’s research; Respondent agrees that he shall not participate in any PHS-supported research until such a supervision plan is submitted to and approved by ORI; Respondent agrees to maintain responsibility for compliance with the agreed upon supervision plan;

(2) that any institution employing him shall submit, in conjunction with each application for PHS funds, or report, manuscript, or abstract involving PHS-supported research in which Respondent is involved, a certification to ORI that the data provided by Respondent are based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract; and

(3) to exclude himself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant.

***

Notice is hereby given that ORI has taken final action in the following case:

Based on the report of an investigation conducted by Southern Research Institute and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Ms. Melanie Cokonis, former Research Technician, SRI, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by contracts N01-AI-30047 (HHSN2722011000009C) and N01-AI-70042 (HHSN272200700042C) and grant U54 HG005034.

ORI found that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying assay data that were submitted in reports to NIH. Specifically, ORI found that Respondent knowingly falsified data for cytoprotection assays with antiviral compounds and provided the false data for inclusion in reports submitted to NIH for contracts N01-AI-30047 and N01-AI-70042 and grant U54 HG005034. Respondent transferred raw data from 8X12 SoftmaxPro matrix files into spreadsheets and then falsified the numbers for cell control, virus control, drug cytotoxicity, drug only, and/or cells+ virus+ drug wells to make 206 assays appear to have been successfully performed when they were not.

Ms. Cokonis has voluntarily agreed for a period of 3 years, beginning on May 29, 2014:

(1) To exclude herself from any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility or involvement in nonprocurement programs of the United States Government referred to as “covered transactions’ pursuant to HHS’ Implementation (2 CFR part 376 et seq) of OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR part 180 (collectively the “Debarment Regulations’); and

(2) To exclude herself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to 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. Kat said

    Linda Buck is a Nobel Prize Laureate! The retracted research looks very high-impact. Not sure how it would affect the field.

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