Deputy director of U.S. gov’t watchdog leaves to run another gov’t office

The second-in-command at the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI), which oversees investigations into scientific misconduct, will be leaving the agency.

Scott Moore has been at ORI since 2016. He had previously been at the National Science Foundation’s Office of Inspector General, where he was an investigative scientist for 13 years. He was appointed by former director Kathy Partin, who after a tumultuous two years left the ORI in November 2017, and is now the intramural research integrity officer at NIH.

Moore was named acting deputy director of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health’s (OASH) Office of Grants Management in July, serving in both that role and as ORI deputy director since then. According to a memo from Assistant Secretary for Health Brett P. Giroir that was circulated at that time: Continue reading Deputy director of U.S. gov’t watchdog leaves to run another gov’t office

Wash U scientist admits to research misconduct, resigns post

A Washington University researcher has admitted to committing research misconduct in research involving eight U.S. government grants, according to a Federal watchdog, and resigned his position, according to the university.

Srikanth Santhanam, a staff scientist in the department of internal medicine’s division of gastroenterology at Washington University in St. Louis, “voluntarily admitted to engaging in research misconduct,” vice chancellor for research Jennifer Lodge told Retraction Watch. Santhanam resigned effective December 1, 2018, Lodge said. Continue reading Wash U scientist admits to research misconduct, resigns post

Former UMich postdoc earns five-year ban on Federal funding, after admitting to misconduct and then lying

A former postdoc at the University of Michigan admitted to research misconduct, but lied about how extensive it was, according to a new finding by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

The ORI doesn’t describe Venkata Sudheer Kumar Ramadugu‘s misconduct — that detail will likely come later in the Federal Register, according to their relatively new practice [see update below] — but says that as a postdoc in Michigan’s department of chemistry he “engaged in research misconduct” in work supported by two NIH grants.

Ramadugu agreed to a five-year ban on Federal funding. The penalty was that severe, according to ORI’s annoucement, because Ramadugu Continue reading Former UMich postdoc earns five-year ban on Federal funding, after admitting to misconduct and then lying

Former Cedars-Sinai scientist committed misconduct in food preservatives-obesity paper

A former researcher at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has been sanctioned by a Federal watchdog for misconduct in a 2017 paper that claimed to link food preservatives and obesity.

Uthra Rajamani, first author of the paper in Nature Communications, “engaged in research misconduct,” according to the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI), and agreed to have any Federally funded research supervised for a year. She also agreed to request the retraction of the paper in question.

The ORI announcement does not specify the type of misconduct Rajamani committed, but refers to an upcoming Federal Register notice that, if past history is any indication, should contain those details. [See update at end of post.] In a statement to Retraction Watch, Cedars-Sinai said: Continue reading Former Cedars-Sinai scientist committed misconduct in food preservatives-obesity paper

Former Colorado “golden boy” earns three-year ban on Federal funding

The U.S. Office of Research Integrity has announced findings of misconduct against a once-promising pharmaceutical scientist at the University of Colorado.

The ORI says Rajendra Kadam fabricated data on government grants while working on his PhD at UC Denver under the supervision of Uday Kompella. As we reported in 2015 when this case first broke, Kadam was put in charge of a piece of technology that apparently he alone knew how to operate — giving him ample opportunity to cook results without fear of detection.

Under the terms of the ORI finding — which comes nearly four years after the UC inquiry wrapped up — Kadam will be barred from Federal U.S. research funding for three years, beginning November 13, 2018. Continue reading Former Colorado “golden boy” earns three-year ban on Federal funding

A colleague included plagiarized material in your grant proposal. Are you liable?

Richard Goldstein

Last month, a judge recommended that a former University of Kansas Medical Center professor be banned from Federal U.S. funding for two years. The ban came after an investigation showed that the researcher, Rakesh Srivastava, had submitted a grant application that was heavily plagiarized from someone else’s. But there’s far more to the case, as Richard Goldstein –who represented the scientist in Bois v. HHS, the first case to overturn a funding ban by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI), and who has written about another case for us — argues in this guest post. 

Picture this scenario: You submit an NIH grant proposal.  Unbeknownst to you, it contains material plagiarized from another scientist.  Are you liable for research misconduct? Continue reading A colleague included plagiarized material in your grant proposal. Are you liable?

Former University of Kansas researcher who plagiarized Harvard prof banned from Federal funding for two years

Rakesh Srivastava

A researcher fired from the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) in 2014 for plagiarizing the work of a Harvard scientist has been barred from receiving Federal U.S. funding for two years.

The sanctions come three years after the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) tried to impose a three-year ban on funding for Rakesh Srivastava, who appealed the move. In September of this year, Department of Health and Human Services  administrative law judge Keith Sickendick recommended a two-year sanction.

In his decision, Sickendick noted that there was no evidence that Srivastava had engaged in research misconduct other than in this incident, and that he denied adding the plagiarized passages to the grant application himself. (Srivastava, who had also worked at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, is last author on a 2002 retraction from the Journal of Biological Chemistry for plagiarism, but it is unclear who was responsible.)

ORI tells Retraction Watch that it is “pleased that the ALJ upheld its findings.

An ‘Eminent Scholar’

Srivastava — along with his wife, Sharmila Shankar — joined KUMC in 2009 to great fanfare: Continue reading Former University of Kansas researcher who plagiarized Harvard prof banned from Federal funding for two years

Former director of U.S. research watchdog agency moves to NIH

Kathy Partin

Kathy Partin, who served as director of the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) for just under two years until being removed from the post late in 2017, has a new position at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), Retraction Watch has learned.

As of yesterday (Sept. 30), Partin is intramural research integrity officer at the NIH. She replaces Melissa Colbert, who will be retiring. Continue reading Former director of U.S. research watchdog agency moves to NIH

UConn prof “recklessly” used false data in NIH grant applications, says Federal watchdog

Li Wang (via UConn)

A liver physiologist at the University of Connecticut with millions of dollars in Federal U.S. funding included false data in half a dozen grant applications, according to the U.S. Office of Research Integrity.

Li Wang, according to the ORI, Continue reading UConn prof “recklessly” used false data in NIH grant applications, says Federal watchdog

Researcher found to have committed misconduct using federal grants is publishing again — and cites those very grants

Michael Miller

A researcher who was found guilty of committing misconduct while using three federal grants has published new findings that cite those grants.

In 2012, the U.S. Office of Research Integrity determined that Michael Miller, a former department chair at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, had committed misconduct by falsifying and/or fabricating data. The affected research was funded by three grants issued by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

As a result, Miller agreed to not seek federal funding for one year, and then have his research supervised for two years following the debarment. (He ended up getting a gig as a grant services consultant, but lost it in 2013 after he failed to disclose his ORI sanctions to his new employer.)

Recently, Miller published two new papers — both of which cite the three grants, collectively worth millions.

Continue reading Researcher found to have committed misconduct using federal grants is publishing again — and cites those very grants