Imprimir Republish


Fraud related to award-winning thesis

Accused of falsifying data and images, Nitin Aggarwal, a cardiology researcher who studied and worked at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, reached an agreement with the U.S. Office of Research Integrity and agreed to have his work supervised for the next three years, as well as to refrain from serving on evaluation committees of American research-sponsoring agencies during that same period. Aggarwal, who now works for a pharmaceutical firm, admitted that he had manipulated photos of western blot tests, falsified statistical data to support the manipulated photos, and lied about the number of rats used in one of the experiments – it was only one rat, not four as he had reported in the papers. The fraud affected two articles, research projects presented to two agencies, and even the dissertation he submitted to the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2008 to complete the requirements for his PhD and that had earned him an award of $1,000. The articles with the fake photos were not retracted, and his PhD is still valid. A spokesman for the Medical College of Wisconsin said that an investigating committee found suspicious data, but the information did not compromise the conclusions. Because of this episode, the institution is discussing enacting new rules for revoking academic credentials.