Neuroscientist Faked Data

A researcher who studied neurodegenerative diseases made up results from experiments yet to take place in order to apply for more funds.

Dan Cossins
Jan 8, 2013

FLICKR, STEAKPINBALLPaul Muchowski, a neuroscientist formerly at the Gladstone Institute for Neurological Disease in San Francisco has been censured for fabricating data in three National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant applications.

In a Federal Register notice released yesterday (January 7), the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) announced that Muchowski, who studies the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding and aggregation, reported results from experiments that had not yet been carried out in one funded NIH grant and two submitted NIH grant applications.

A dozen of Muchowski’s published papers have been cited more than 100 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. No papers were called into question by the investigation, carried out by the Gladstone Institutes and overseen by the ORI. But Muchowski has agreed to have his research supervised for 2 years and to not serve on any NIH committees for the same period....

The Gladstone Institutes told Retraction Watch that Muchowski resigned last month, and that they had been alerted to the misconduct by one of his colleagues at the institution.