Release Date:  September 12, 2000

NOTICE:  OD-00-052

Department of Health and Human Services

Notice is hereby given that the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and the 
Assistant Secretary for Health have taken final action in the following case:

William A. Simmons, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center: 
Based on the report of an investigation conducted by the University of Texas 
Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) and additional analysis conducted by ORI in 
its oversight review, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) finds that Dr. 
Simmons engaged in scientific misconduct by falsifying research supported by 
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), 
National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant R01 DK47692, National Institute of 
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), NIH, grants R01 
AR38319 and P01 AR09989, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 
(NIAID), NIH, grant R01 AI42860, and National Cancer Institute (NCI), NIH, 
grant T32 CA09082.

Specifically, while a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow at UTSW, Dr. 
Simmons manipulated results of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) assays by adding 
predetermined amounts of radioactivity to scintillation counting vials rather 
than carrying out the assays as claimed.

As a result of falsifying these assays over a minimum of five years, none of 
Dr. Simmons research can be considered reliable and the publications 
identified below have been, or soon will be, retracted or corrected.  The 
falsified research also was reported in the 1 R01 AI42860-01 grant 
application, A new MHC locus influencing class I peptide display.

Additionally, Dr. Simmons was responsible for falsifying Figure 3 published in 
J. Immunol. 159:2750-2759, 1997, by substituting preparations of chemically 
synthesized oligopeptide for natural peptides obtained from T cells isolated 
from B27 transgenic rats.  These actions adversely and materially affected the 
laboratory=s ongoing research into the role that human histocompatibility 
leukocyte antigens play in the development of disease.

The publications affected are:

Simmons, W.A., Summerfield, S.G., Roopenian, D.C., Slaughter, C.A., Suberi, 
A.R., Gaskell, S.J., Bordoli, R.S., Hoyes, J., Moomaw, C.R., Colbert, R.A., 
Leong, L.Y., Butcher, C.W., Hammer, R.E., & Taurog, J.D.  Novel HY peptide 
antigens presented by HLA-B27.  J. Immunol. 159:2750-2759, 1997 (being 

Simmons, W.A., Leong, L.Y., Satumtira, N., Butcher, G.W., Howard, J.C., 
Richardson., J.A., Slaughter, C.A., Hammer, R.F., & Taurog, J.D.  Rat MHC-
linked peptide transporter alleles strongly influence peptide binding by HLA-
B27 but not B27-associated inflammatory disease.  J. Immunol. 156:1661-1667, 
1996 (being retracted).

Simmons, W.A., Roopenian, D.C., Summerfield, S.G., Jones, R.C., Galocha, B., 
Christianson, G.J., Maika, S.D., Zhou, M., Gaskell, S.J., Bordoli, R.S., 
Ploegh, H.L., Slaughter, C.A., Lindahl, K.F., Hammer, R.E., & Taurog, J.D.  A 
new MHC locus that influences class I peptide presentation.  Immunity 7:641-
651, 1997 (retracted).

Simmons, W.A., Taurog, J.D., Hammer, R.E., & Breban, M.  Sharing of an HLA-
B27-restricted H-Y antigen between rat and mouse.  Immunogenetics 38:351-358, 
1993 (retracted).

Zhou, M., Sayad, A., Simmons, W.A., Jones, R.C., Maika, S.D., Satumtira, N., 
Dorris, M.L., Gaskell, S.J., Bordoli, R.S., Sartor, R.B., Slaughter, C.A., 
Richardson, J.A., Hammer, R.F., & Taurog, J.D.  The specificity of peptides 
bound to human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B27 influences the 
prevalence of arthritis in HLA-B27 transgenic rats.  J. Exp. Med. 188:877-
886, 1998 (published erratum).

Dr. Simmons has accepted the PHS findings and has entered into a Voluntary 
Exclusion Agreement with PHS in which he has voluntarily agreed for a period 
of five (5) years, beginning on August 22, 2000:

(1) to exclude himself from any contracting or subcontracting with any agency 
of the United States Government and from eligibility for, or involvement in, 
nonprocurement transactions (e.g., grants and cooperative agreements) of the 
United States Government as defined in 45 C.F.R. Part 76 (Debarment 

(2) to exclude himself from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS, including 
but not limited to service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer 
review committee, or as a consultant.


For further information contact:

Division of Investigative Oversight
Office of Research Integrity
5515 Security Lane, Suite 700
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  (301) 443-5330

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