Updated on 22 October 2013
Fall from grace - Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) researcher Mr Nitin Aggarwal falsified data in grant applications to the NIH, American Heart Association and his PhD thesis
Singapore: The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has found that a Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) researcher named Mr Nitin Aggarwal falsified data in grant applications to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American Heart Association.
The ORI further revealed that Mr Aggarwal used the falsidied research data in his PhD thesis and also published two papers using the same. However, the case of falsification cited by the ORI took place before the researcher began work at BMS.
The ORI said that, Mr Aggarwal falsified "Western blot loading control data by inverting, duplicating, and cropping source blot films and/or using films from unrelated experiments to construct five false Western blot figures and in the absence of valid blot images, he falsified and/or fabricated the corresponding quantitative data for summary bar graphs and the data statistics in related text."
The ORI said in a statement that Mr Aggarwal, "admitted to falsely reporting the number of mice reported for an experiment reported in figure four in his grant application HL113518-01 to support the hypothesis of the research." Mr Aggarwal received his PhD from the Medical College of Wisconsin, according to the ORI.
Mr Aggarwal must now have his research supervised and a supervision plan must be submitted to the ORI for approval. Furthermore, any institution that employs him must provide certification to the ORI that any data he submits are based on actual experiments and the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract. Moreover, Mr Aggarwal must exclude himself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to the US Public Health Service including, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant, according to the ORI.