The NOT-OD-13-039 was just published, detailing the many data faking offenses of one Bryan Doreian. There are 7 falsifications listed which include a number of different techniques but mostly involve falsely describing the number of samples/repetitions that were performed (4 charges) and altering the numeric values obtained to reach a desired result (3 charges). The scientific works affected included:
Doreian, B.W. ``Molecular Regulation of the Exocytic Mode in Adrenal Chromaffin Cells.' Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, August 2009; hereafter referred to as the ``Dissertation.'
Doreian, B.W., Fulop, T.G., Meklemburg, R.L., Smith, C.B. ``Cortical F-actin, the exocytic mode, and neuropeptide release in mouse chromaffin cells is regulated by myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate and myosin II.' Mol Biol Cell. 20(13):3142-54, 2009 Jul; hereafter referred to as the ``Mol Biol Cell paper.'
Doreian, B.W., Rosenjack, J., Galle, P.S., Hansen, M.B., Cathcart, M.K., Silverstein, R.L., McCormick, T.S., Cooper, K.D., Lu, K.Q. ``Hyper-inflammation and tissue destruction mediated by PPAR-γ activation of macrophages in IL-6 deficiency.' Manuscript prepared for submission to Nature Medicine; hereafter referred to as the ``Nature Medicine manuscript.'
The ORI notice indicates that Doreian will request that the paper be retracted.
There were a couple of interesting points about this case. First, that Doreian has been found to have falsified information in his dissertation, i.e., that body of work that makes up the major justification for awarding him a PhD. From the charge list, it appears that the first 4 items were both included in the Mol Bio Cell paper and in his Dissertation. I will be very interested to see if Case Western Reserve University decides to revoke his doctorate. I tend to think that this is the right thing to do. If it were my Department this kind of thing would make me highly motivated to seek a revocation.
Second, this dissertation was apparently given an award by the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine:
The Doctoral Excellence Award in Biomedical Sciences is established to recognize exceptional research and scholarship in PhD programs at the School of Medicine. Nominees' work should represent highly original work that is an unusually significant contribution to the field. A maximum of one student per PhD program will be selected, but a program might not have a student selected in a particular year. The Graduate Program Directors chosen by the Office of Graduate Education will review the nominations and select recipients of each Award.
Open to graduating PhD students in Biochemistry, Bioethics, Biomedical Engineering, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Genetics, Molecular Medicine, Neurosciences, Nutrition, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Biophysics, and Systems Bio and Bioinformatics.
This sidebar indicates the 2010 winners are:
Biochemistry: Matthew Lalonde
Biomedical Engineering: Jeffrey Beamish
Epidemiology and Biostatistics: Johnie Rose
Neurosciences: Phillip Larimer
Nutrition: Charlie Huang
Pathology: Joshua Rosenblum
Pharmacology: Philip Kiser
Physiology and Biophysics: Bryan Doreian
Now obviously with such an award it is not a given that Mr. Doreian's data faking prevented another deserving individual from gaining this recognition and CV item. It may be that there were no suitable alternatives from his Department that year, certainly it did not get one in 2011. It may also be the case that his apparent excellence had no impact on the selection of other folks from other Departments...or maybe he did set a certain level that prevented other folks from gaining an award that year. Hard to say. This is unlike the zero sum nature of the NIH Grant game in which it is overwhelmingly the case that if a faker gets an award, this prevents another award being made to the next grant on the list.)
But still, this has the potential for the same problem with only discovering the fakes post-hoc. The damage to the honest scientist has already been done. There is another doctoral student who suffered at the hands of this fellow's cheating. This is even before we get to the more amorphous effect of "raising the bar" for student performance in the department.
Now fear not, it does appear that this scientific fraudster has left science.
Interestingly he appears to be engaging in a little bit of that Web presence massaging that we discussed in the case of alcohol research fraudster Michael Miller, Ph.D., last of SUNY Upstate. This new data faking fraudster Bryan Doreian, has set up a "brandyourself" page.
"Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to help anyone improve their own search results and online reputation.
Why should Mr. Doreian needs such a thing? Because he's pursuing a new career in tutoring for patent bar exams. Hilariously it has this tagline:
My name is Bryan and I am responsible for the operations, management and oversight of all projects here at WYSEBRIDGE. Apart from that some people say I am pretty good at data analysis and organization.
This echos something on the "brandyourself" page:
Bryan has spent years in bio- and medical- research, sharpening his knack for data analysis and analytical abilities while obtaining a PhD in Biophysics.
Well, the NIH ORI "says" that he is pretty good at, and/or has sharpened his knack for, faking data analysis. So I wonder who those "some people" might be at this point? His parents?
His "About" page also says:
In 2005, I moved to Cleveland, OH to begin my doctoral studies in Cellular and Molecular Biophysics. As typical for a doctoral student, many hours were spent studying, investigating, pondering, researching, the outer fringes of information in order to attempt to make sense of what was being observed. 5 years later, I moved further on into medical research. After 2+ years and the conclusion of that phase of research, I turned my sights onto the Patent Bar Exam.
At this point you probably just want to take this down my friend. A little free advice. You don't want people coming to your new business looking into the sordid history of your scientific career as a fraudster, do you?