Harvard Medical School Facing Trial Over Massive Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fraud

May 21st, 2012

Via: Alliance for Human Research Protection:

The US Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit overturned a summary judgement by a lower court ordering a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Dr. Kenneth Jones against Harvard Medical School, its teaching hospitals, Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Marilyn Albert (Principal Investigator) and Dr. Ronald Killiany to proceed to trial.

The case involves the largest Alzheimer’s disease [AD] research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (from 1980 through 2007) for a large project aimed at identifying early physical signs of Alzheimer’s by scanning certain regions of the brain with MRIs.

Dr. Jones was the chief statistician for the NIH grant. He blew the whistle after realizing that measurements used to demonstrate the reliability of the study had been secretly altered. Without these alterations, Dr. Jones explained, there was no statistical significance to the major findings of the study. When he insisted that the altered measurements be subjected to an independent reliability study, and that the manipulated results could not be presented as part of a $15 million federal grant extension application, he was terminated and his career came to an end.

The allegations in the suit concern multiple research fraud: data manipulation, significant deviations from the protocol, altered and re-traced MRI scans. To get positive results, Dr. Jones alleges, Dr. Killiany “fraudulently altered the MRI study data prior to 1998 to produce false results of a statistically significant correlation between conversion to AD and volume of the EC [entorhinal cortex].” US ex rel. Jones v. Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University.

He further alleged that Dr. Albert and Dr. Killiany violated federal regulations (43 CFR 50.103(c)(3) by making false statements in the NIH grant application. Statements that “were predicated on falsified data that the defendants, knowing of this falsity, failed to take corrective action or disavow the data.”

Research Credit: anchoviesmegma

One Response to “Harvard Medical School Facing Trial Over Massive Alzheimer’s Disease Research Fraud”

  1. Arthur Borges Says:

    Somebody’s survey of the scientific community found that 35% of research involved plagiarism, truncated results, outright falsification of data/results and other creative methodology. The figure for falsification was 3%.

    It seems they’re as corrupt a community as any other.

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