Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Jatinder Ahluwalia out at University of East London: report

with 8 comments

Jatinder Ahluwalia, whose story Retraction Watch has been following since last fall, is no longer working at the University of East London, according to a report in today’s Times Higher Education.

Ahluwalia, Retraction Watch readers may recall, came to our attention in the fall after he and his colleagues were forced to retract a paper in Nature. A University College London (UCL) investigation revealed that Ahluwalia had faked results, and probably sabotaged his colleagues’ work. We then learned, from a source, that Ahluwalia had been dismissed from Cambridge University’s graduate program — his first attempt to get a PhD — in 1998.

Given all of these revelations, the University of East London — where Ahluwalia had been a faculty member since leaving UCL — and Imperial College London, where he earned his PhD, both began investigations into his work. Last week, we reported that Imperial had finishing re-running all of his experiments, and was reviewing the results.

Today, as the Times Higher Education reported, his faculty page has been removed:

The university declined to give any details about its conclusions, but confirmed that it had parted company with Dr Ahluwalia.

A spokeswoman said: “The university conducted a full investigation concerning the matters that were raised and, as a consequence, the individual concerned is no longer employed by the university.”

We have tried to contact UEL for comment, and will update with anything we hear back.

Written by Ivan Oransky

July 14th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

  • LNV July 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Perhaps this is why he took down his blog and twitter account… I thought perhaps it was because we gave too much attention to his self-flattery…

  • ion channels are us July 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I wonder where he will turn up next, some unsuspecting department.

  • ion channels are us July 15, 2011 at 10:33 am

    What about all the papers he wrote at UEL they are still in the scientific literature. It is UEL’s responsibility to validate any papers produced at their institution.

    UEL’s response is limited and unsatisfactory. Just washing their hands of the matter is not good enough.

  • Neuroskeptic July 16, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Not a moment too soon, but the real question is, why did it take so long? His misconduct has been in the public domain for years. How many UEL students have been taught by this guy? How many fellow researchers have been affected?

    P.S. One suspects the timing isn’t a coincidence – it’s the end of term in the UK right now. They probably kept him on until the end of the year to finish teaching and marking exams…

    • UELGraduate August 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      I am a recent graduate of UEL who was taught by Dr A in the last academic year. He was a poor lecturer (to say the least) and spent at least 2 weeks of a 12 week module teaching his own research area blowing his own trumpet into what he had discovered since he had started researching. A question was asked in our written examination in January 2011 about his research, which we discovered later was under review and being retracted. (None of this was told to us students, but someone left a poster in the toilets hi-lighting your blog, which spread quickly amongst the students). I feel very disappointed that UEL did not take action earlier and allowed him to continue teaching and supervising projects etc, but am glad for the future Pharmacology students there that he no longer teaches there. I feel sorry for whoever has to deal with him next.

      • Neuroskeptic August 3, 2011 at 7:23 am

        That’s absolutely terrible. Now that he’s left, there’s no point, but if he was still there, I would have made a formal complaint about his teaching.

        Love the toilet posters though.

  • ricard p July 18, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Lets hope that he decides to stay out of Science and teaching and decides a different career plan. It would have been better if UEL had issued a more comprehensive statement.

    I guess we will have to wait for Imperials review of his PhD data to get any clear resolution

  • ion channels are us August 9, 2011 at 6:46 am

    UEL have attempted to wash their hands of this matter by presumably letting Ahluwalia resign before he was sacked.. The fact remains that Ahluwalia published many papers at UEL, what about the validity of those papers. Also one staff member, Dr Mike Salmon who was co-author on the majority of those papers is still employed at UEL, it is in his own interests to clear his name, guilty by association many would say.

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