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ORI finds fifteen instances of misconduct involving a single researcher

05/21/2010
Erin Podolak

After several attempts to contest the findings of misconduct, Scott J. Brodie has been banned from federal funding until 2017.

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A former researcher from the University of Washington has conducted research misconduct, according to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

Scott J. Brodie, former director of the University of Washington’s retrovirology pathogenesis laboratory, was found to have knowingly falsified data in 15 separate instances. The findings were the result of an investigation conducted by the ORI in conjunction with the University of Washington.

In response to these findings, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has debarred Brodie. He will not be eligible for any funding provided by the Public Health Service (PHS), including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), until 2017.

The investigation found that Brodie had fabricated and falsified data reported in grant applications, progress reports, published papers, manuscripts, and PowerPoint presentations.

The misconduct findings focus on Brodie’s virology research, including his work on HIV and AIDS. Among the 15 findings of misconduct in science are charges of falsified figures in manuscripts submitted to a variety of publications including: Science, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, the Journal of Virology, the American Journal of Pathology, the Journal of Clinical Investigations, the Journal of Infectious Diseases, and the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.

Nine grants awarded by the PHS supported Brodie’s research. These grants were provided by several NIH institutes. Five of these grants were R01 awards.

In January 2010, Brodie contested the ORI’s findings, but an administrative law judge (ALJ) of the departmental appeals board ruled that there were no legal grounds on which to challenge the ORI’s findings and recommended a seven-year sentence of debarment.

In February 2010, Brodie again tried to contest the charges by requesting that the HHS Debarring Official reject the ALJ’s recommendation. The request was denied, and the debarment notice was issued on March 18, 2010. The debarment will end on March 17, 2017.

In April 2010, Brodie requested that the debarment be delayed. This request was also denied.

The debarment prevents Brodie from contracting or subcontracting with any agency or nonprocurement program of the U.S. government, as well as from serving in any advisory capacity to the PHS.