Thursday, 30 April 2015

A University of Minnesota former chemistry graduate student has been banned from receiving federal funding for five years based on “a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent intentionally and knowingly engaged in research misconduct.”

A University of Minnesota former chemistry graduate student has been banned from receiving federal funding for five years based on “a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent intentionally and knowingly engaged in research misconduct.”

Venkata J. Reddy appears to have manipulated findings in one R01 grant application. In recent years, bans are less common than having research supervised. What’s also unusual is that the sanction appeared to have begun two years ago, in 2013, because it lifts August 26, 2018. The report, which is scheduled to published tomorrow in the Federal Register, says the debarment has a “joint jurisdiction,” suggesting another agency may be involved.

According to the ORI notice, Reddy “intentionally and knowingly engaged in research misconduct by falsifying and/or fabricating data that was provided to his mentor” for an R01 application to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). More specifically:

ORI found that the Respondent falsified data included in Figures 4, 9, 11, 15, and 25 in R01 GM095559-01A1 for enantiomeric excess (“ee”) to falsely show a high degree of selectivity for one enantiomer over another by a cut-and-paste method and manipulation of the instrument to give the desired result. Respondent also falsified the underlying nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) data for Compound 22 reported in Figure 15 in R01 GM095559-01A1 by a cut-and-paste method to manipulate the NMR spectra and give the desired result.

The grant, submitted by Christopher Douglas at UMN and awarded in 2011, explored new approaches to synthesizing alkaloids. Douglas received roughly $250,000 from it in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

The UMN directory lists Reddy as a graduate student who enrolled in 2011. Reddy appears to have published a few papers with Douglas, in the College of Chemistry.

In 2014, former ORI director David Wright resigned in frustration; the agency is currently run by acting director Don Wright, and is hiring a new head.

We’ve contacted UMN and the ORI. We’ve also emailed UMN addresses for Reddy and Douglas, and will update if we hear anything.

SOURCE: Retraction Watch (Posted by Alison McCook)


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