Scientific Misconduct at Thomas Jefferson University

Michael H. Hsieh hsieh1 at jeflin.tju.edu
Fri May 1 20:09:24 EST 1998

FROM:    Paul C. Brucker, M.D.
   President, Thomas Jefferson University

DATE: April 29, 1998

   Today The Philadelphia Inquirer published a story, "Jefferson AIDS
Research Probed," which contained information from interviews and a
confidential University report.

   In December 1996, in response to allegations of scientific misconduct
and under guidelines established by the Office of Research Integrity of
the National Institutes of Health, the University initiated a detailed
confidential inquiry into the alleged misconduct.  The extensive inquiry
included the participation of a distinguished scientist who is not a
member of the Jefferson faculty.  No evidence of scientific misconduct
was found.  However certain recommendations were made to improve the
laboratory's programs which have been carried out.  The allegations also
included comments regarding the sale of materials to a foreign
government.  The University immediately forwarded this information to
the appropriate governmental agencies. 

   Upon learning of the pending newspaper article, Jefferson was anxious
to share its point of view, since the integrity of the University and
professional reputations could be damaged.  Unfortunately, Dr. Bagasra
refused to sign a consent form allowing the University to disclose
information about his employment and his involvement in research
activities at Jefferson.  Therefore, it was not possible to disclose all
the facts to reporters.

   Dr. Bagasra is now on a leave of absence and appealing disciplinary
action taken by the University according to procedures outlined in the
Medical College By-Laws.  

   I am confident that the complete inquiry, spanning a nine-month period,
substantiates the report's conclusions.  I wish to again thank those who
participated in the inquiry for their diligent efforts.

In article <35491758.3E11 at netreach.net>, jjfreed at netreach.net wrote:

> Wu seems to have been cleverer than most whistle-blowers. Dismissed from
> Jefferson, he seems to have found another job and only then went to Dr.
> Kalf, the medical school assistant dean, and dropped his bomb. 
> Further, the missing sequence is a matter of objective fact. Pomerantz
> seems to have been unable to explain how it occurred without the loss
> being detected.
> All in all, a sadly instructive episode.  As we say in Philadelphia,
> money talks....

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