Mending misconduct

Young researcher's punishment seeks balance between discipline and salvaging a promising career

Eric Sabo(esabo68@yahoo.com)
Nov 4, 2003

A faked gene therapy experiment last week came back to haunt Ilya Koltover, an up-and-coming investigator who currently teaches at Northwestern University. The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Research Integrity (ORI) announced a disciplinary ruling against the biomaterials specialist on Thursday (October 30), claiming that he plagiarized and falsified data as part of a larger research proposal for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Under a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement with the ORI, Koltover will be under the watchful eye of government funding agencies for the next 3 years, should he plan to conduct research with Public Health Service money. His reprimand comes against a backdrop of rising misconduct allegations but fewer disciplinary rulings by ORI in recent years.

"We consider all cases of misconduct as serious," said ORI Director Clarence Pascal. But since the stunt did not prompt further problems, such as a long string of journal...

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