ORI: Investigators Committed Misconduct While at Wayne State, Texas Tech
A former postdoctoral fellow at Wayne State University has agreed to a 10-year debarment for misconduct involving his dissertation and more than a dozen published papers, and a then-assistant professor of pharmacy at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center accepted a plan for three years of supervision for inserting plagiarized and fabricated data into four NIH applications, the HHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI) recently announced. According to ORI’s Aug. 7 notice on its website, Zhiwei Wang, former postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pathology at Wayne State’s Karmanos Cancer Institute, engaged in extensive misconduct beginning with his 2006 dissertation and including nine funded and three unfunded grants and 14 papers published from 2006 to 2013. A number have been corrected or retracted as a result of the misconduct, which consisted of Wang’s reuse and relabeling of images and figures involving bands of proteins. The debarment began July 21; the settlement agreement also calls for Wang to refrain from advising the Public Health Service (PHS) during the 10-year period. He also will seek a retraction of a paper published in 2008.
The second settlement, announced Aug. 11, involves Rahul Dev Jayant, who ORI described as an assistantprofessor of pharmaceutical sciences in Texas Tech’s School of Pharmacy. His page, however, is no longer on the Texas Tech website. In contrast to Wang’s misconduct, Jayant’s is quite recent and included two grant applications submitted in February. According to ORI, Jayant “engaged in research misconduct by intentionally plagiarizing, falsifying, and/or fabricating data” in a total of four NIH applications that included images used without attribution and that were “cropped, rotated, contrast enhanced and labeled” to reflect different experiments than were actually conducted. Jayant agreed to have his work in any PHS-funded research supervised by a committee of faculty members with expertise in his field for a three-year period beginning July 27. Committee members would be required to periodically review his data to ensure it is “based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract,” among other requirements.