RELEASE DATE:  December 9, 2003

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-04-013

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

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:

Jianhua (James) Xu, M.S., University of Alberta:  Based on the University of 
Alberta (UA) Report, the respondent’s admissions, and additional analysis 
conducted by ORI in its oversight review, the U.S. Public Health Service 
(PHS) found that Jianhua (James) Xu, M.S., former technician at UA, engaged 
in scientific misconduct in research funded by National Heart, Lung, and 
Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant R01 

Mr. Xu performed experiments on the enzyme lipid phosphate phosphatase-1 
(LPP-1) from a family of enzymes that affect signal transduction by 
glycerolipid and sphingolipid phosphate esters as second messengers.  A 
typical experiment involved the investigation of the effects on various 
glycerolipids, sphingolipids, and other related effector compounds on the 
activity of LPP-1 either in tissue culture cells or isolated enzyme 
preparations.  Mr. Xu falsified data by adding vanadate to inhibit the enzyme 
LPP-1, in experiments that purported to show that the inhibition was the 
result of adding natural lipid effectors.  He was also observed deliberately 
falsifying other colleagues’ experiments in a similar manner.

Mr. Xu admits that he alone was responsible for the falsification.

Specifically, Mr. Xu committed scientific misconduct by falsifying data for 
Figures 1A, 1B, 1C, 2B, 2D, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8A that he published in:  
James Xu, et al.  “Lipid phosphate phosphatase-1 and Ca2+ control 
lysophosphatidate signaling through EDG-2 receptors.”  Journal of Biological 
Chemistry 275:27520-27530, 2000.  The paper was retracted in Journal of 
Biological Chemistry 278:38104, 2003.

Due to the falsified data, Manuscript #C0007049 by Xu, et al. entitled 
“Transactivation of platelet-derived growth factor receptors by 
lysophosphatidate causes tryrosine phosphorylation of lipid phosphate 
phosphatase-1 and feedback inhibition of EDG-2 receptor activation” was 
withdrawn.  Also, ORI concluded Mr. Xu committed scientific misconduct by 
deliberately falsifying experiments of other colleagues in the laboratory by 
adding vanadate to their experiments without the authorization or knowledge 
of his colleagues.

Mr. Xu provided the following in an admission statement dated March 23, 2003:

“For the purpose of disposition of this matter by the Office of Research 
Integrity (“ORI”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I 
confirm that I began falsifying results of experiments, relating to the 
inhibition of the enzyme lipid phosphate phosphatase (LPP-1), in which I was 
initially involved.  The falsification consisted of the addition of vanadate 
to tubes containing certain substances.  In order to cover up my initial 
falsification, I also falsified the experiments of others who were doing 
related experiments.  I only falsified these subsequent experiments to the 
extent necessary to cover up the original falsification and did not falsify 
any other experiments.”

The research misconduct was significant because the research focused on the 
study of signal transduction by lipid messenger molecules, which play an 
important role in regulating cellular processes as diverse as wound repair, 
regeneration of injured corneal tissues, adipocyte growth obesity, and cell 
division potentially involved in the development of cancers.

Mr. Xu has entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement (Agreement) in 
which he has voluntarily agreed for a period of four (4) years, 
beginning on November 10, 2003:

(1)  to exclude himself from any contracting or subcontracting with any 
agency of the United States Government and from eligibility or 
involvement in nonprocurement programs of the United States Government 
referred to as “covered transactions” as defined in the debarment 
regulations at 45 C.F.R. Part 76; and

(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
1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 750
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  301-443-5330

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