Friday, 5 December 2014

Faking data earns stem cell researcher a ban on federal funding

The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has sanctioned Kaushik Deb, a former post-doc at the University of Missouri-Columbia, who “engaged in misconduct in science by intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly” fabricating data in papers in both Science and Nature (which ultimately rejected his manuscript).

Deb was big news in 2007, when Science retracted his paper. Articles about the case appeared in many outlets, including The Scientist and USA Today. At the time, Missouri’s research integrity officer, Rob Hall, told the Columbia Tribune that: 
With the publication of this retraction, Dr. Deb is going to be subjected to the absolute worst punishment that any scientist can have … because he is going to be held up before the international scientific community as a fraud.
According to the ORI report,
Based upon the evidence and findings of an investigation report by the University of Missouri-Columbia (UM) transmitted to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Dr. Kaushik Deb, former Postdoctoral Fellow, Life Sciences Center, UM, engaged in misconduct in science in research that was supported by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grants 2 R01 HD021896 and 5 R01 HD042201-05 and National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), NIH, grant 5 R01 RR013438-07.
ORI found that the Respondent intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly fabricated and falsified data reported in the following published paper:
·         Deb, K., Sivarguru, M., Yong, H., & Roberts, R.M. “Cdx2 gene expression and 2 trophectoderm lineage specification in mouse embryos.” Science 311:992-996, 2006 (hereafter referred to as “Science 311”); this paper was retracted on July 27, 2007
An earlier version of Science 311 had been previously submitted to Nature on or about June 24, 2005 (hereafter referred to as “Nature #1”). It was revised and resubmitted to Nature on or about August 24, 2005, and ultimately was rejected by Nature on September 14, 2005 (hereafter referred to as “Nature #2”).
Under the terms of the decision, ORI has levied a three-year ban on Deb from receiving any federal research funding.