February 22, 2018

ORI: NIH Fellow Falsified Dozens of Figures in Two Published Papers

In its first research misconduct finding of 2018, the HHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI) announced that Colleen Skau committed research misconduct when she was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. In a 2/19/18 announcement posted on its website, ORI said Skau falsified, fabricated and otherwise skewed data in dozens of instances and reported them in two published papers. The papers, on mouse cells and cancer metastasis, both purported to reflect certain discoveries, but ORI said Skau had engaged in selectively reporting “inappropriate inclusion/omission or alteration of data points,” among other misconduct. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2015 and in Cell in 2016, the papers will be corrected or retracted as part of the settlement. Skau agreed to have her work supervised if she were to receive Public Health Service funding and to refrain from advising the government during a three-year period beginning 1/25/18.