A Canadian court has granted a review of two researchers’ application to quash the findings of a university investigation that found signs of falsified data, according to the researchers’ lawyer.
Yesterday, the court ruled that the application by Sylvia Asa and her husband, Shereen Ezzat, to quash the University Health Network investigation’s findings be reviewed by a full panel of the divisional court.
That review should take place within the next few months, Brian Moher, the researchers’ attorney, told us. The pair are pleased with the outcome, Moher told Retraction Watch:
The applicants are grateful for the court order yesterday directing that their application be heard by a full panel of the divisional court.
As part of the “impartial” review, Moher said, the divisional court will review materials that were part of the investigation by the University Health Network, affiliated with the University of Toronto. These include witness statements generated during the investigation, findings from committees, and other relevant documents. They will not conduct any additional interviews, he added.
After the investigation found signs of falsified data, Asa stepped down from her post as program medical director of Canada’s largest hospital diagnostic lab. The pair’s work has been subjected to three retractions, and one notice of concern. A number of their papers have been questioned on PubPeer.
We’ve reached out to Oncogene, Clinical Cancer Research and Cancer Research and asked about papers authored by Asa and Ezzat that have been discussed on PubPeer. We haven’t heard anything yet but we’ll update with any reply.
This isn’t the first time researchers have taken to the courts over a misconduct investigation — last month, a Massachusetts judge dismissed a lawsuit by researchers who argued that an investigation by Harvard damaged their careers by costing them job offers.
With reporting by Ross Keith
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