University of Virginia physician found to have plagiarised 5 papers and sentenced to be supervised for 4 years

The US Office of Research Integrity has now made a finding of research misconduct in the case of Jayant Jagannathan and has applied sanctions for a period of 4 years.

Jagannathan was a former resident physician at the University of Virginia Medical Center and was found to have committed plagiarism in research supported by the National Institutes of Health and published in 5 papers between 2005 and 2009:

1. Jagannathan, J., Li, J., Szerlip, N., Vortmeyer, A.O., Lonser, R.R., Oldfied, E.H., Zhuang, Z. “Application and implementation of selective tissue microdissection and proteomic profiling in neurological disease.” Neurosurgery64:4-14, 2009 (to be retracted);

2. Jagannathan, J., Prevedello, D.M., Dumont, A.S., Laws, E.R. “Cellular Signaling Molecules as Therapeutic Targets in the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme.” Neurosurgical Focus20(4):E8, 2006 (retracted “due to plagiarism,”Neurosurgical Focus30(2):E8r, 2011);

3. Kanter, A.S., Jagannathan, J., Shaffrey, C.I., Ouellet, J.A., Mummaneni, P.V. “Inflammatory and dysplastic lesions involving the spine.” Neurosurgical Clinics of North America19(1):93-109, 2008;

4. Jagannathan, J., Dumont, A.S., Prevedello, D.M., Oskouian, R.J., Lopes, B., Jane, J.A. Jr, Laws, E.R. Jr. “Genetics of pituitary adenomas: Current theories and future implications.” Neurosurgical Focus19(5):E4, 2005 (retracted “due to plagiarism,”Neurosurgical Focus30(2):E4r, 2011);

5. Jagannathan, J. “Role of calcium influx and modulation of local neurotransmitters as hallmarks of pediatric traumatic brain injury.” Biomarkers Med.3:95-97, 2009 (retracted online 9/11/2010).

The Scientist:

Jagannathan’s research explored the use of genomic and proteomic markers as hallmarks of a variety of neurological disorders, from glioblastoma multiforme (a type of brain tumor) to traumatic brain injury. The five papers containing plagiarized material were published from 2005 to 2009. Three of the five papers were retracted earlier this year, and one—a study on proteomic profiling as a way to diagnose and treat neurological disorders—has been “withdrawn,” according to the website of the journal Neurosurgery, where it was published in 2009. Jagannathan agreed to be closely supervised and tracked for a four-year period when participating in federally-funded research. He also agreed to retract the remaining paper, published in Neurosurgical Clinics of North America in 2008.

Jagannathan has entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement for a period of four (4) years, beginning on October 20, 2011:

(1) To have his research supervised; Respondent agreed to ensure that prior to the submission of an application for U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) support for a research project on which his participation is proposed and priorto his participation in any capacity on PHS-supported research, the institution employing him must submit a plan for supervision of his duties to ORI for approval; the plan for supervision must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of his research contribution; Respondent agreed that he will not participate in any PHS-supported research after sixty (60) days from the effective date of the Agreement until a plan for supervision is submitted to and approved by ORI; Respondent agreed to maintain responsibility for compliance with the agreed upon supervision plan;

(2) That any institution employing him must submit, in conjunction with each application for PHS funds, or report, manuscript, or abstract involving PHS-supported research in which Respondent is involved, a certification to ORI that the data provided by Respondent are based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract;

(3) To submit a letter to the journal editor for publication 3 (Neurosurgical Clinics of North America) listed above, requesting that the paper be retracted because Respondent had plagiarized portions of text reported in it; the letter must be sent to ORI for approval prior to being sent to the editor; and

(4) To exclude himself from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant.

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