Oxford DNA Lab Leaderless

University ponders how to replace director of its ancient DNA lab, who quit under a cloud.

Stephen Pincock(Stephen@thescientisteurope.com)
Jun 1, 2005

The University of Oxford is considering what to do about replacing the director of a high-profile center for studying ancient DNA who resigned 6 weeks ago in the wake of an investigation into his conduct, a spokeswoman has told The Scientist.

Geneticist Alan Cooper had been director of the Henry Wellcome Ancient Biomolecules Centre since it was established in 1999, but on April 22, he resigned his post. He had been the subject of an internal investigation by the university relating to allegations that he had violated the university’s code of practice on academic integrity in research.

“The allegations relate solely to material included in grant applications and not to published research results or the conduct of ongoing research,” Oxford said in a statement. In accordance with university rules, however, it would not provide any details of the investigation.

The Ancient Biomolecules Centre was built with funding from the...