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NIH Cites Two Researchers For Misconduct

Officials Say Pair Falsified Data

By Douglas M. Pravda

Two Harvard Medical School researchers were cited last month for scientific misconduct by the National Institute of Health's Office of Research Integrity, officials said.

Telsuya Matsuguchi, a research fellow in medicine at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Weishui Y. Weiser, an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, each resigned from their positions at the University after committing the misconduct for which they were investigated.

Matsuguchi's misconduct was "intentional falsification of data in two autoradiographs prepared for a presentation and in altering a print of an immunoblot of a paper in the journal [of the European Molecular Biology Organization]," according to Lyle W. Bivens, the director of the NIH Office of Research Integrity.

Weiser's misconduct was "falsification of data in biomedical research," Bivens said.

Both Matsuguchi and Weiser's research had been supported by grants from the Public Health Service.

Matsuguchi and Weiser accepted the Office of Research Integrity's findings of misconduct and settled their cases, agreeing not to serve on a federally financed research project or a peer-review board for three years, Bivens said.

Weiser also agreed to retract three articles published in the Journal of Immunology and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, according to the Federal Register.

Matsuguchi agreed to retract his article in the journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization, according to the Register.

Matsuguchi's misconduct took place between June 1994 and January 1996.

"The case surfaced about 18 months ago," according to Carolyn B. Eggert, assistant director of communications for medical affairs at the Dana Barber Cancer Institute.

Once Dana Farber discovered there was a problem, the Cancer Institute convened a committee to investigate Matsuguchi's actions, but subsequently referred the case to the NIH's Office of Research Integrity, Fggert said.

Keren R. McGinity, the Medical School spokesperson, did not respond to questions for this article.

Bivens said the researchers departure from the University did not have to do with the Office of Research Integrity.

"It would have been exclusively a decision of Harvard University," Bivens said "There are no provisions in the [Office of Research Integrity] agreement regarding their employment.

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