Academic Horror Story (Duke University)

Duke University officials have known since 2009 that there were serious problems with Anil Potti’s research — serious enough to believe it is fraudulent. Here is how one researcher put it:

The Duke investigators said their data showed that expression of a particular gene, ERCC1, correlated with response to some agents. However, the commercial microarray chip the Duke investigators said they used in their experiments does not include that gene. “I admit this is one for which I do not have a simple, charitable explanation,” [said] Dr. Baggerly.

Potti, you may remember, lied about having a Rhodes Fellowship. Duke’s first investigation found him innocent.

Later events caused Duke officials to reconsider. They are still making up their minds. This is a horror story because a clinical trial based on Potti’s research is in progress. A hundred cancer patients are getting treated according to Potti’s research — that is, according to research that is probably fraudulent. Duke has done nothing to warn the patients or stop the trial.

The whole thing reminds me of UC Berkeley researchers taking weeks to tell a woman she had a large lump in her brain. As if their legal liability were more important than her life.

5 Replies to “Academic Horror Story (Duke University)”

  1. Odd, and I’m not sure if it’s your problem or mine, but the RSS feed of this story has “Viagra online” interspersed throughout. It is fine on the website, though.

  2. Sorry that this is OT, but I thought it would be right up your alley and couldn’t find an email link.

    Professor experiments on self with junk food diet…

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