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Whistleblower sues Duke, claims doctored data helped win $200 million in grants

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posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 09:29 PM
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Looks like trouble for Duke University . I am sure this smaller stuff goes on all the time but in this case it may be huge for all Govt. grants going .

On a Friday in March 2013, a researcher working in the lab of a prominent pulmonary scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, was arrested on charges of embezzlement. The researcher, biologist Erin Potts-Kant, later pled guilty to siphoning more than $25,000 from the Duke University Health System, buying merchandise from Amazon, Walmart, and Target—even faking receipts to legitimize her purchases. A state judge ultimately levied a fine, and sentenced her to probation and community service. Then Potts-Kant's troubles got worse. Duke officials took a closer look at her work and didn't like what they saw. Fifteen of her papers, mostly dealing with pulmonary biology, have now been retracted, with many notices citing "unreliable" data. Several others have been modified with either partial retractions, expressions of concern, or corrections. And last month, a U.S. district court unsealed a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former colleague of Potts-Kant. It accuses the researcher, her former supervisor, and the university of including fraudulent data in applications and reports involving more than 60 grants worth some $200 million. If successful, the suit—brought under the federal False Claims Act (FCA)—could force Duke to return to the government up to three times the amount of any ill-gotten funds, and produce a multimillion-dollar payout to the whistleblower. The Duke case "should scare all [academic] institutions around the country," says attorney Joel Androphy of Berg & Androphy in Houston, Texas, who specializes in false claims litigation. It appears to be one of the largest FCA suits ever to focus on research misconduct in academia, he says, and, if successful, could "open the floodgates" to other whistleblowing cases.
www.sciencemag.org...




posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 10:02 PM
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originally posted by: the2ofusr1
Looks like trouble for Duke University . I am sure this smaller stuff goes on all the time but in this case it may be huge for all Govt. grants going .

On a Friday in March 2013, a researcher working in the lab of a prominent pulmonary scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, was arrested on charges of embezzlement. The researcher, biologist Erin Potts-Kant, later pled guilty to siphoning more than $25,000 from the Duke University Health System, buying merchandise from Amazon, Walmart, and Target—even faking receipts to legitimize her purchases. A state judge ultimately levied a fine, and sentenced her to probation and community service. Then Potts-Kant's troubles got worse. Duke officials took a closer look at her work and didn't like what they saw. Fifteen of her papers, mostly dealing with pulmonary biology, have now been retracted, with many notices citing "unreliable" data. Several others have been modified with either partial retractions, expressions of concern, or corrections. And last month, a U.S. district court unsealed a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former colleague of Potts-Kant. It accuses the researcher, her former supervisor, and the university of including fraudulent data in applications and reports involving more than 60 grants worth some $200 million. If successful, the suit—brought under the federal False Claims Act (FCA)—could force Duke to return to the government up to three times the amount of any ill-gotten funds, and produce a multimillion-dollar payout to the whistleblower. The Duke case "should scare all [academic] institutions around the country," says attorney Joel Androphy of Berg & Androphy in Houston, Texas, who specializes in false claims litigation. It appears to be one of the largest FCA suits ever to focus on research misconduct in academia, he says, and, if successful, could "open the floodgates" to other whistleblowing cases.
www.sciencemag.org...


I agree that there may be a small chance that it "maybe huge for all Govt. grants going.", but this won't affect Duke University much at all, if at all. They'll simply figure a way to take it any fines/costs out of their multi-billion dollar endowment ($7.3B in 2015).

University Endowments -Wiki
edit on 3-9-2016 by BeefNoMeat because: Typo



posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 10:08 PM
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I wonder what side-effect of this falsified pulmonary data may have had on patients whose doctors read and embraced her "research". That is the real tragedy in this case. Falsified medical data...hurts not just the pocketbook but could end someone's life!




posted on Sep, 3 2016 @ 10:34 PM
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a reply to: the2ofusr1

I wonder if there is a similar statute for universities in Ontario, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more...

Cheers - Dave



posted on Sep, 4 2016 @ 03:16 AM
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originally posted by: Krakatoa
I wonder what side-effect of this falsified pulmonary data may have had on patients whose doctors read and embraced her "research". That is the real tragedy in this case. Falsified medical data...hurts not just the pocketbook but could end someone's life!



Ha Ha very few doctors read current research they are normally 20 years behind, they reckon 3000 papers are published every week so doctors don't have time.



posted on Sep, 4 2016 @ 04:34 AM
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a reply to: the2ofusr1
That is very interesting. I've been hearing scuttlebutt that a similar situation may exist at the University of Louisville. They've had issues in their medical school and a mess of turmoil. Even the city newspapers are mentioning the medical school as well as the basketball sex scandal as potential explosions. The whistle has been blown on the basketball sex scandal and some say there are whistleblowers in the medical facility as well.
I wonder if the granting agencies are finally taking a real look at what they've been financing? This stuff is in every university to some extent I think. When people, be they doctors or teachers or politicians, are spending other people's money, there needs to be a lot of accountability and transparency.



posted on Sep, 4 2016 @ 04:40 AM
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a reply to: jinni73
I beg to differ. Specialists of all kinds spent a lot of time reading the research in their field because they need to know of new possibilities of help for their patients. Duke is known for pulmonary research so their publications are read extensively by docs in that field.



posted on Sep, 4 2016 @ 07:41 AM
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a reply to: diggindirt

Jinni73 is probably referring to small GP's . A big issue would be in the papers that were cited from the bad ones . A review of her papers is one thing but correcting the errors down stream in the papers would be quite problematic .Just thinking as well that there may be off shoots to her papers such as pharmaceuticals . Its hard to say just what her research may have involved .



posted on Sep, 4 2016 @ 10:55 AM
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originally posted by: jinni73

originally posted by: Krakatoa
I wonder what side-effect of this falsified pulmonary data may have had on patients whose doctors read and embraced her "research". That is the real tragedy in this case. Falsified medical data...hurts not just the pocketbook but could end someone's life!



Ha Ha very few doctors read current research they are normally 20 years behind, they reckon 3000 papers are published every week so doctors don't have time.



Well, someone does have to graduate at the bottom of their class. And I would consider those graduates are the ones that are not bothered with keeping current. However, experts in their fields and specialist do monitor and follow current research. If not for potential new procedures, but for cost savings processes that can reduce their own expense while maintaining or increasing their fees.

I sure hope you don't think a doctor that is 20 years behind the times is reliable and professional. If you do, I would question your graduating position in your own class.



posted on Sep, 4 2016 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: Krakatoa

OK I was referring to normal GPs but even specialists do not take much notice of Natural cures, no matter how many scientific papers are produced, some 7000 scientific papers on Hydrogen Peroxide were released over a 25 year period covering a huge amount of our afflictions How many specialists advise taking this when you go and see them. HP taken through a nebuliser has amazing effects on pulmonary problems 1 drop of 35% HP in 70 drops of pure water is the correct dosage

and here is a good starting point if you want to research these papers
www.foodgrade-hydrogenperoxide.com...
edit on 4-9-2016 by jinni73 because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-9-2016 by jinni73 because: (no reason given)




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