Immunologists prepare for fraud fallout

Scientists and journals say fired MIT researcher's misconduct raises concerns about multiple papers

Jack Lucentini(Jekluc2001@yahoo.com)
Nov 2, 2005

Immunologists are gearing up for a lengthy clean-up of research literature after the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge fired an immunologist for allegedly fabricating data—an incident they say may raise questions about all of his publications. Still, researchers who commented this week on the incident said that, for now, it doesn't seem to have affected their own findings.

On Oct. 27, MIT announced it had fired Luk van Parijs, an associate professor in biology, after he admitted fabricating data in a paper and several manuscripts and grant applications. Colleagues said van Parijs, who co-authored more than 30 published papers on immunology and RNA interference, was an emerging heavyweight.

Learning of alleged misconduct "in somebody with such a broad number of scientific contributions … is really scary," Isabel Merida of the National Biotechnology Center in Madrid, whose publications cited some of the findings under investigation, told The Scientist....

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