Biologist charged with more fraud

ORI finds Steven Leadon guilty of falsifying additional data; Leadon maintains his innocence

Clementine Wallace
Jun 11, 2006
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) last week released the findings of its investigation of Steven Leadon, a former molecular biologist at the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill, and found him guilty of falsifying research results, including in additional papers not reported in an earlier investigation by UNC. Leadon maintains he did not engage in scientific misconduct, but he has agreed to retract three additional figures, and to withhold from applying for federal funding for five years -- a relatively long penalty."The regular exclusion period is three years, but because Dr. Leadon's conduct extended over quite a few papers, quite a few years, we decided to take this exceptional action," John Dahlberg, director of the ORI's division of investigative oversight, told The Scientist.Since one of Leadon's PhD students raised suspicions about his findings in 2001, the number of publications alleged to contain or rely on...