FINDINGS OF SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT

RELEASE DATE:  June 28, 2004

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-04-051

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

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

Regina D. Horvat, Ph.D., Northwestern University:  Based on the report of an 
inquiry conducted by Northwestern University (NU Report), the respondent’s 
admission, and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, 
the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) found that Regina D. Horvat, Ph.D., 
former Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at NU, 
engaged in scientific misconduct in research supported in part by the 
following National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), 
National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants:  F32 HD041309, RO1 HD38060-01A1, 
and T32 HD007068.

Specifically, PHS found that:

1.  Dr. Horvat falsified a western blot of an immunoprecipitation (IP) assay 
presented as Figure 5B in a manuscript (“Inhibition of Luteinizing Hormone 
Receptor Desensitization Suppresses the Induction of Ovulatory Response Genes 
in Granulosa Cells”) submitted to Molecular Endocrinology.  Dr. Horvat 
falsely labeled an autoradiogram in her laboratory notebook with a piece of 
tape to misrepresent the data from a different IP experiment that was 
actually conducted on October 31, 2001, as the experiment described in Figure 
5B.  Further, Dr. Horvat falsely used Figure 5B in an oral presentation at a 
national scientific meeting; and

2.  Dr. Horvat falsified the intensity of the band in Lane 6 of a luteinizing 
hormone receptor (LHR) Western blot experiment to quantitate the level of LHR 
immunoprecipitated with an arrestin2 antibody in cells treated with hCG for 
30 minutes in the PowerPoint figure, prepared in response to the initial 
review of the Molecular Endocrinology manuscript.  This manuscript was 
withdrawn.

Dr. Horvat has entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement (Agreement ) in 
which she has voluntarily agreed for a period of three (3) years, beginning 
on June 2, 2004:

(1)  to exclude herself 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; and
(2)  that any institution which submits an application for PHS support for a 
research project on which the Respondent’s participation is proposed or which 
uses the Respondent in any capacity on PHS supported research, or that 
submits a report of PHS-funded research in which the Respondent is involved, 
must concurrently submit a plan for supervision of the Respondent’s duties to 
the funding agency for approval.  The supervisory plan must be designed to 
ensure the scientific integrity of the Respondent’s research contribution.  
Respondent agrees to ensure that a copy of the supervisory plan is also 
submitted to ORI by the institution.  Respondent agrees that she will not 
participate in any PHS-supported research until such a supervision plan is 
submitted to and accepted by ORI.

INQUIRIES

For further information contact:
Director
Division of Investigative Oversight
Ofice of Research Integrity
1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 750
Rockville, MD 20852
Telephone: 301-443-5330


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