ORI finds former North Carolina company lab tech faked data in NIH grant

advanced liquid logicThe Office of Research Integrity has sanctioned a former technician at a North Carolina technology firm after concluding that the researcher fabricated data while working on a project funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The researcher, Matthew Poore, was a technician at Advanced Liquid Logic when he committed the misconduct, according to the report. While at North Carolina State University prior to his job at Advanced Liquid Logic, Poore published, by our count, 11 papers, one of which was cited more than 50 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The ORI report does not mention any of them.

Here’s what it does say:

Matthew Poore, Advanced Liquid Logic Inc.:  Based on the report of an inquiry conducted by Advanced Liquid Logic Inc. (Liquid Logic), the Respondent’s admission, and additional analysis conducted by ORI, ORI found that Mr. Matthew Poore, former Technician, Liquid Logic, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), contract HHSN272200900030C.

ORI found that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying data that were included in one (1) presentation and one (1) report to NIAID and in laboratory records at Liquid Logic.

ORI finds that Respondent knowingly and intentionally falsified reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results by reporting the results from previous experiments as the actual results, when the experiments had not been performed. Specifically:

  • in Liquid Logic laboratory documents, the Respondent falsified the RT-PCR results of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) viral loads in whole blood patient samples by falsely changing previous results for two (2) samples from negative to positive and one (1) sample from positive to negative. The latter falsified sample result, changed from HIV positive to negative, was included in an April 1-June 30, 2012, quarterly report and a July 12, 2012, presentation to NIAID.
  • in Liquid Logic laboratory documents, the Respondent falsified the RT-PCR whole blood lysis results of testing samples as 100 and 200 HIV viral copies per milliliter, when the experiments were not performed by the Respondent. These falsified results were included in an April 1-June 30, 2012, quarterly report to NIAID.
  • in Liquid Logic laboratory documents, the Respondent falsified the graphs of RT-PCR results of the Escherichia coli bacteriophage MS2, an internal control, viral loads for three (3) clinical samples, when the results were actually from prior experiments of two (2) controls and one (1) unrelated clinical sample.  The Respondent falsified the MS2 graphs in an effort to conceal that RT-PCR experiments of the clinical samples had not been performed.

Poore agreed to have federally funded research supervised for three years, and not to serve on any NIH committees for the same amount of time. His LinkedIn page says he left Advanced Liquid Logic last year. We left word with a firm official for comment but have yet to hear back.

Poore worked at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine from 1999 to 2008, according to his LinkedIn profile.  We tried to reach his lab head there and will update this post if we learn more.

5 thoughts on “ORI finds former North Carolina company lab tech faked data in NIH grant”

  1. It won’t be long before lab equipment is forcibly connected to a government funding agency cloud to monitor our raw data (requiring our equipment to be “always online” like the new PS4, or EA’s SimCity). It’ll be packaged as a way to ensure data integrity and accountability. Though I can’t imagine the Department of Health and Human Services building out petabytes of storage to store raw data from everyone’s NGS runs, qPCR data or 96-well-plate-readers and repeating your technical analyses on the off-chance one is lying to the government. Even the FDA doesn’t have enough inspectors to visit every facility very often, and there are probably more academic research labs than sites that must comply with 21 CFR.

    1. I am not sure how to interpret your comment. The government as a representative of the people who pay taxes that fund the vast majority of our research HAVE to the right to inspect and question our results. I say nothing wrong with that. Do you think if pharmaceutical firm fund your work, they will not be coming to knock on your door once your peers suggest that you fabricated your data and wasted your money.

    1. Therefore, as I have mentioned several times @ RW
      It’s time to start treating academics equally (i.e. as everybody else) for the fraud when they commit it.
      Since such fraud is often sophisticated, FBI should establish new department to deal with this.

  2. I am baffled how medical researchers can commit these frauds. When the health, safety, and lives of others are affected (that’s kind of the point after all) there is at least a moral duty to be as scrupulously honest as possible in the work done, in my opinion.

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