Imperial, where Jatinder Ahluwalia earned his PhD, has re-run experiments, and is now reviewing results

If you’ve been wondering what’s happening in the case of Jatinder Ahluwalia, the University of East London researcher who has been found guilty of faking data as a graduate student at Cambridge and of misconduct at University College London, so have we.

We last reported, in February, that Imperial College London, where Ahluwalia earned his PhD, was repeating his key experiments “in light of new information received.” Today, an Imperial spokesperson tells Retraction Watch that those repeat experiments are complete, and “the results are currently being reviewed by the College.” We look forward to hearing the results of that review, of course.

A reminder that Ahluwalia’s current institution, the University of East London, is also reviewing his work. We’ve heard nothing from UEL, despite several requests. That’s consistent with the idea that the university has placed a gag order on its faculty and administration, although we haven’t confirmed that either.

In fact, we’re hearing a lot of rumors about this case, many of them left as anonymous comments, and while we appreciate any tips, we do our best to confirm verifiable facts before posting, even in comments. So if anyone has documentation of what’s going on, we’d welcome it.

We’ve also seen Ahluwalia apparently take a page out of the Anil Potti playbook, using social media and setting up a blog to extol his own virtues. Various sites discuss his papers and charitable donations, and he also has a Twitter feed that has a lot to say about the weather. Oddly, none of them mention the misconduct findings.

One of the comments left on his blog was from “MikeUSA”:

I read your recent paper on Pharmacology of Receptor Operated Calcium entry. Can I use the Figures in that paper for my teaching?

Umm, we’d hold off on that, “MikeUSA.”

Update, 12:30 a.m. Eastern, 7/9/11: Ahluwalia’s blog seems to have gone dark, notes a commenter. His Twitter feed is also inoperative.

13 thoughts on “Imperial, where Jatinder Ahluwalia earned his PhD, has re-run experiments, and is now reviewing results”

  1. I guess all the comments on his blog sound bogus to me even MikeUSA. All are too good comments to be true šŸ™‚

  2. On the basis of that “blog” he is not just a fraud, but also has delusions of grandeur.

    Seriously though what the hell is taking so long with the UEL?

  3. I left a message on his blog site to suggest a more constructive use for his paper. Unfortunately it was not published on his site.

  4. I must agree with the two former responses. This guy is the alpha and omega of medicine in his own mind. All of the comments on his blog are phony.

  5. So we see that social media can be a two edged sword. Surely it is innocuous when it merely amplifies a narcissistic personality’s perceived grandeur; yet it can be dangerous when it is used to reinforce false scientific claims.
    By the way, from a psychoanalytic point of view, a narcissistic (“ego maniac”) personality of this type would be the most likely person to fake data in a scientific paper, possibly on a grand scale.

  6. I just looked through all of the comments left for him… did anyone else notice the trend in the usernames used to leave comments? MikeUSA, AndreaUSA, SOCE25USA, NovaTechUSA, pharmstudent_london, london2486, DocMartinLondon, Pharma-Middle-East. It seems that almost everyone that posts positively about Ahluwalia has a strong nationalistic sense when picking screen names…

    I also notice that no one ever posts more than once, which is surprising, considering many of the comments profess fairly specific interests in the work, and aren’t simply “science geeks.”

    These are my unscientific observations, but I agree with the opinion that he wrote most – if not all – of these comments himself. I am not really familiar with blogspot. Do people use the same user name to post comments on any site associated with blogspot? If so, is it possible to search for these folks to see if they have ever posted *anywhere* else??

    I’m definitely interested to see what the University inquiry reports. This is a fascinating case, especially for someone remotely interested in ion channels.

  7. My lab was interested in some of his data from his PhD we had some interesting experiments proposed but could not get the main result repeated so we switched track. I would not be surprised about the outcome!

  8. The blog has been taken down…
    “Sorry, the blog at dr-jatinder-ahluwalia.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.”

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