I recently noted the case of scientific conduct of one Scott J. Brodie, DVM, Ph.D. (ORI Notice). The incomparable writedit has a few thoughts on the matter as well. I, of course, originally just got smart about the mention of PowerPoint presentations.
With the extensive list of NIH grants and papers that were involved in the Finding of Scientific Misconduct, however, I got to thinking. And pulling on the threads a little bit.
First a PubMed search for Brodie, S.J. identifies 48 publications. The ten earliest stretch from 1958 to 1966 then there is a 20 year gap, so I'm going to assume the most recent 38 are from the subject of this misconduct case.
Only one of them (Brodie, Journal of Leukocyte Biology 68:351-359, 2000) has a retraction link on the PubMed listing. And that link points to the wrong retraction, this is the right one. This is the fourth paper listed in the ORI Notice as containing falsified figures/data.
The first paper listed in the ORI Notice is Brodie et al, American Journal of Pathology 54:1453-1464, 1999. Checking PubMed, PubMed Central and the Journal website I find no mention of a problem with the paper.
The second paper listed in the ORI Notice is Brodie et al, Journal of Clinical Investigations 105:1407, 2000. No link on the author search but if you click on the abstract or look at the PubMed Central version you will find a link to a 2008 Expression of Concern:
According to the report issued by John T. Slattery, Vice Dean of Research and Graduate Education at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, "Dr. Brodie was found to have falsified images that appeared as Figure 5A in the publication. These images respectively appeared in JCI as representing neomycin gene-marked CD8+ cells before patient infusions, with neo-positive cells showing yellow-red fluorescence and neo-negative cells being purple-blue; in one unfunded NIH grant application labeled as cells harboring HIV DNA (PCR in situ hybridization for gag DNA); and in a second unfunded NIH grant application as depicting alveolar macrophages from HIV+ persons treated with LPS, tuberculin or HIV tat protein-stain for viral RNA. The University's investigative committee concluded that two or more of these images was falsified."
There is an ongoing investigation into potential scientific misconduct in the performance of this study, reportedly by the Office of Research Integrity. We will inform our readers of the outcome of this investigation when it is complete.
The third paper listed as containing false data in the ORI Notice is Berrey et al, Journal of Infectious Diseases 83:1466, 2001. In this case there is a note of an erratum that turns up in the summarized author search but there is no direct link there or on the abstract page. The abstract page at the journal lists over two dozen citations of the article but no mention of the erratum. No link on the full text page either. Doing the hard work from the unlinked cite listed on PubMed, it is possible to find the erratum.
A recent investigation of scientific misconduct involving experiments performed by Dr. Scott Brodie suggests that panel D of figure 2, which was provided by Dr. Brodie, is not, as he had claimed, a picture of in situ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) performed on HIV‐1 DNA in lymphoid tissue but, rather, is a picture of in situ hybridization to neomycin of adoptively transferred neomycin‐marked CD8+ T cells. Therefore, the data on page 1470, second column, lines 4-9, suggesting that treatment with zidovudine, lamivudine, and indinavir does not lower HIV‐1 DNA in lymphoid mononuclear cells at the 1‐year time period, is not correct. Subsequent evaluation of HIV‐1 DNA levels in mononuclear cells purified from lymph nodes by use of Taqman PCR indicates that treatment with zidovudine, lamivudine, and indinavir does reduce HIV‐1 DNA levels, from a median of 815 copies/μg of DNA, in untreated individuals, to 9.7 copies of HIV‐1 DNA/μg of DNA, in treated patients, a finding that is similar to what has been reported by Wong et al.  and Ngo‐Giang‐Huong N et al. . All other figures, tables, and statements in the article are correct.
As I mentioned above, the fourth article listed in the ORI Notice links a straightforward retraction.
So. About 6-7 years after publication of the faked data, the first indications of a concern were published. Some two years prior to the issuance of the ORI Notice in three of four cases, hopefully the fourth journal was just waiting for the ORI to conclude its process and will rapidly issue a retraction notice.
I found two grants for which Brodie was the PI.
(NIH RePORTER has apparently been fixed to allow direct linkage of search results! Huzzah!)
The second (and final listed) year for 5R01DE014149-02 indicates it was originally a four year grant with a start in 2001.
The only listed year for 1R01DE014827-01 indicates it was likewise intended as a four year award.
No award $$ data on RePORTER but Research Crossroads claims $547,200 total costs for the two year award and $373,444 for the one year award. Lotta money but, phew, at least the NIH only wasted two years and one year, respectively, on these faked-data applications, right? Nope. Click on the history tab for DE014827 or DE014149 and it looks like other investigators were substituted as the PI.
The projects each ran for the originally awarded four years of funding.
Of course this was probably in the early stages of the investigation, since the first expressions of concern and reference to the University findings of misconduct were published in 2008. And awards are to the institution and not the PI after all.
But it is still...annoying.
UPDATE 05/12/10: Following a link posted at writedit's blog, we find that the investigation into Brodie was concluded in 2003 and only reached the light of day in 2007 due to a lawsuit involving a newspaper.
The exhaustive 16-month long investigation of Scott J. Brodie, accused of manipulating computer images of cells to resemble two distinct images, was concluded in December 2003, but the report was not made public until legal proceedings between The Seattle Times, the UW and Brodie ended last week, in favor of The Seattle Times, which fought to release the investigative documents.
Also of interest is that ORI knew about the case right from the start.
The UW was notified in August 2002 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Research Integrity that an individual had noticed some anomalies in Brodie's work. Investigations began shortly thereafter.