ORI sanctions pathologist in Canada for bogus monkey data

Hao Wang

The Office of Research Integrity has concluded that Hao Wang, a Canadian pathologist, falsified data in a 2011 poster presentation supported by money from the National Institutes of Health.

For his part Wang, a former faculty member at Western University in Ontario (his website is still active but his email bounces back), has said there were undisclosed “extenuating circumstances” in the matter but that he could not afford to fight the case. Wang also seems to be making the “no harm, no foul” defense, as you’ll see from the notice:

Hao Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Western University–Canada (formerly ¬†University of Western Ontario): Based on the report of an investigation conducted by Western University–Canada (WU) and ORI’s subsequent oversight analysis, ORI found that Dr. Hao Wang, former Associate Professor of Surgery and Pathology, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, WU, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), subaward 0016244 from Prime Award U01 AI074676 to the University of Pittsburgh.

ORI found that Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying data that were included in:

An abstract and poster presentation for the 2011 American Transplant Congress–Abstract [1537.5]: Wang, H., Baroja, M., Lan, Z., Arp, J., Lin, W., Relmann, K., Garcia, B., Jevnikar, A., & Rothstein, D. “Combination of Novel Anti-CD45RB and Anti-CD40 Chimeric Antibodies Proglons [sic] Renal Allograft Survival in Cynomolgus Monkeys.”

Specifically, ORI found that the Respondent falsified the status of two animals as successfully treated renal allograft recipients in a 2011 American Transplant Congress abstract and meeting presentation and in false representations to the project principal investigators and colleagues. Respondent falsely claimed long term survival, normal serum creatinine concentrations, and lack of adverse effects in two Cynomolgus monkeys treated with chimeric antibodies following bilateral nephrectomies and receipt of renal allografts, when in fact the transplant surgery had failed and the animals’ survival was due to a native kidney that was left in place in each animal. Respondent also falsified or failed to correct known falsifications (identifying the two monkeys as transplant recipients) in numerous clinical records, including anesthesia records, progress, notes, treatment records, and clinical laboratory reports.

It is expressly agreed that while Respondent asserts that there are extenuating factors for his actions, Respondent agrees to enter into the Agreement because contesting the findings would cause him undue financial hardship and stress, and Respondent wishes to seek finality. Respondent also claims that based on the data obtained from the same experimental group, the removal of these two monkeys from the data would not alter the scientific conclusion.

We wonder if the authors of a roundup of the transplant conference would agree. The article, “What’s New, What’s Hot in Solid Organ Transplantation? Summary of the American Transplant Congress 2011,” in American Journal of Transplantation, said:

Wang et al. (39) show prolonged survival of a kidney allograft using a combination of anti-CD45Rb and anti-CD40 antibodies in a rhesus monkey model of kidney transplantation. Survival was further affected by sirolimus and was accompanied by a downregulation in B-cell activation markers with a shift in T cells in CD45RB isoforms and increase in CTLA4 expression. The ability of these novel chimeric mAbs to downregulate T- and B-cell-mediated graft rejection in nonhuman primates holds significant promise for future clinical application.

Wang also was involved with a company called Argos Therapeutics, which is in the early stages of development of an antibody, CD83, it hopes will prevent the rejection of kidney transplants. Some of the same investigators on the 2011 poster also participated in studies Wang led of CD83 that he presented in 2010 and 2008 at the same transplant society meeting. We have attempted to contact the company about whether any of that work might be implicated in the case and will update this post if we learn more.

0 thoughts on “ORI sanctions pathologist in Canada for bogus monkey data”

  1. I assume several retractions will come soon just looking on the articles on the publication list posted on his website. There are a lot of funny things going on.

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