Research Misconduct: Han, Dong-Pyou Case

The special case I seclected to share was a research misconduct of intentional falsification of data which resulted in voluntary settlement agreements by Dr. Dong-Pyou Han, former Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Services, Iowa State University.

According to ORI’s report, “Respondent falsified results in research to develop a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) by intentionally spiking samples of rabbit sera with antibodies to provide the desired results.  The falsification made it appear that rabbits immunized with the gp41-54 moiety of the HIV gp41 glycoprotein induced antibodies capable of neutralizing a broad range of HIV-1 strains, when the original sera were weakly or non-reactive in neutralization assays.  Falsified neutralization assay results were widely reported in laboratory meetings, seven (7) national and international symposia between 2010 and 2012, and in grant applications and progress reports P01 AI074286-03, -04, -05, and -06; R33 AI076083-04; U19 AI091031-01 and -03; and R01 AI090921-01.

For researches with lab experiments, it is usual to get unexpected results because of design of experiments, data sources, selected samples, and so on. It can be painful to repeat the experiments with “bad” results. For students who need to graduate with seasonable good findings and researchers who want to publish good scientific papers, manipulating data/equipment/processes is much easier than struggling to get desired or even perfect results. We need to keep in mind that we should be honesty in proposing, performing, and reporting research in any case.


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