Jatinder Ahluwalia – End-game in progress

Jatinder Ahluwalia’s career of scientific misconduct has cut a swathe through academia over the last 15 years but is now approaching its end-game as Imperial College reviews the award of his PhD.

At Cambridge University he lost his studentship funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council at the end of 1997, and was dismissed from the graduate studies program in 1998. He then went on to “earn” his PhD at Imperial College after which he was employed at University College London. An investigation at UCL  found that not only had he faked experimental results but also that he had sabotaged the experiments of some of his colleagues. He resigned or was dismissed by UCL in 2009 but then turned up as a senior lecturer at the University of East London. As retractions of his papers and allegations by co-workers mounted, UEL also investigated and Imperial College started checking the experiments which had led to the award of his PhD. Earlier this year he “left” UEL. Retraction Watch has documented the entire, sorry story.

This week another paper of his was retracted and Imperial College announced that the results on which his PhD were based could not be replicated. Imperial will now set up a committee to review the award of his doctorate.

The academics asked to independently re-run the experiments were unable to replicate the findings published in the paper Activation of capsaicin-sensitive primary sensory neurones induces anandamide production and release and so the authors decided to withdraw this from the Journal of Neurochemistry. The findings also formed the basis of Dr Ahluwalia’s PhD. The College has therefore written to Dr Ahluwalia to notify him that it believes it has grounds to investigate the validity of the data in his PhD. It will be convening a panel to review the award in accordance with its policy for investigating allegations of research misconduct.

I find it an incredible waste that in so many cases of scientific misconduct there is such a great deal of misplaced creativity and ingenuity – and even hard work – which goes into the misconduct and in then covering it up.

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2 Responses to “Jatinder Ahluwalia – End-game in progress”

  1. Tim Says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your last sentence.

  2. Are Universities cracking down on academic and scientific misconduct? « The k2p blog Says:

    […] on the heels of the recent Ahluwalia resignation /dismissal come these two […]

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