NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 27, July 30, 1993

P.T. 34


  Ethics/Values in Science & Technol 

Public Health Service

Notice is hereby given that The Public Health Service's Office of

Research Integrity (ORI) has issued final findings of scientific

misconduct and has implemented administrative actions in the following


Torrey Johnson, Tufts University.  An inquiry and a subsequent

investigation conducted by the University found that Mr. Johnson, a

predoctoral graduate student in the Department of Biology, had

fabricated research data on the genetic control of spermatogenesis.

Mr. Johnson worked on a grant from the National Institute of Child

Health and Human Development (R01 HD 11878).  The university

investigation concluded that Mr. Johnson's reports that he had

extracted, purified, and characterized a transcription factor protein

were fabricated.  Mr. Johnson's notebooks provided no details on the

purification procedures and he was unable to describe to his thesis

committee the steps used to purify the protein.  The investigation also

concluded that it was likely that Mr. Johnson had used commercially-

obtained human transcription factor instead of the claimed purified

protein from mouse testis.  The ORI concurred in the University's

findings, and Mr. Johnson has been debarred from receiving Federal

grant or contract funds for a three year period beginning May 14, 1993.

For two years beyond the debarment period, any research institution

which employs Mr. Johnson must provide the Public Health Service (PHS)

a plan for the oversight of his scientific activities and certify the

accuracy and integrity of information provided in PHS applications or

in reports generated under a PHS award.  Two abstracts containing

fabricated data were withdrawn ("Footprint analysis of the promoters of

mouse and rat protamine 2 genes reveals differences in protein binding"

XIth North American Testis Workshop, and "Protein binding to a

conserved promoter element of the male germ cell specific mouse

protamine 1 and 2 genes suppresses transcription in vitro in non-

expressing tissues" J. Cell Biology Abstracts, 115: 48a, 1991).


The Office of Research Integrity will continue to publish findings of

scientific misconduct as further cases are closed.  For further

information, contact:

Director, Division of Research Investigations

Office of Research Integrity

Telephone:  (301) 443-5330


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