Release Date:  December 10, 2001

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-02-018

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:

Momiao Xiong, Ph.D., The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston: 
On November 26, 2001, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) entered into a 
Voluntary Exclusion Agreement with The University of Texas Health Science 
Center at Houston (UTHSCH) and Momiao Xiong, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at 
UTHSCH.  Based on the report of an inquiry conducted by UTHSCH, and any 
related actions and findings by UTHSCH, as well as additional analysis 
conducted by ORI in its oversight review, PHS found that Dr. Xiong engaged in 
scientific misconduct by plagiarizing and fabricating data in National 
Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health 
(NIH), grant application R01 GM64353-01, "Genetics of Human Pigmentation and 
Skin Response" (Pigmentation Application), on which he was a co-investigator. 
The plagiarized and fabricated data were essential to the scientific validity 
of the proposed research and were important for NIH's scientific evaluation of 
the Pigmentation Application.  Dr. Xiong has admitted his actions.

Specifically, PHS and UTHSCH found that Dr. Xiong:  (1) plagiarized text from 
another researcher's grant application, which Dr. Xiong had obtained during 
the NIH confidential review process and used without appropriate citation in 
the Pigmentation Application; and (2) falsified research in the Pigmentation 
Application by (a) falsely claiming that he had performed an extensive series 
of simulations to evaluate the power to detect genes influencing pigmentation 
traits by the proposed statistical analysis, and (b) falsely representing 
estimates from previous work on unrelated individuals as being appropriate for 
large families in the proposed research.

The Voluntary Exclusion Agreement (Agreement) states that Dr. Xiong:

(1)  will not serve as a principal investigator on PHS grants for one (1) 
year, beginning on November 26, 2001;

(2)  will 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 a period of three (3) 
years, beginning on November 26, 2001;

(3)  agrees that he and any institution employing him are required to certify, 
in every PHS application or report in which Dr. Xiong is involved: (a) that 
all persons who contribute original sources of ideas, data, or research 
results to the applications or reports are properly cited or otherwise 
acknowledged; and (b) that the applications or reports do not contain any 
falsified, fabricated, or misleading information, for a period of three (3) 
years, beginning on November 26, 2001.  This requires Dr. Xiong and the 
institution, with respect to Dr. Xiong's contributions to the application or 
report, to certify that all individuals (both within and outside the 
institution) who contributed to the application or report are acknowledged.  
The institution must also send a copy of the certification to ORI; and

(4)  accepts the following UTHSCH administrative actions: (a) Dr. Xiong must 
send a formal, written apology to the principal and co-investigators 
explicitly acknowledging his plagiarism from their grant application; (b) for 
a one year period starting October 11, 2001, Dr. Xiong may not: (i) submit, as 
a principal investigator, any new grant applications, including applications 
to any federal, state, or local government agencies, as well as any private 
foundations or agencies; or (ii) submit any publications without providing 
certification, co-signed by his immediate supervisor, that any manuscript for 
publication does not contain any plagiarized information or any falsified, 
fabricated, or misleading information; (c) for an additional two year period, 
Dr. Xiong must similarly certify any grant application or publication; (d) for 
the next three years, to submit any grant application or publication, Dr. 
Xiong must have a signed statement from his immediate supervisor stating that 
the supervisor has reviewed the materials and finds no indication of 
plagiarism, falsification or fabrication of data, nor any other form of 
scientific misconduct; (e) for the next academic year, Dr. Xiong is required 
to participate in a course in the responsible conduct of research, and in the 
year after completing the course, serve as a co-instructor in a small 
discussion group for all breakout sessions of the course; and (f) within two 
years, Dr. Xiong must write a formal essay, of publication quality, in English 
and Chinese, on plagiarism for submission to the Executive Vice President for 
Research, UTHSCH, and for publication.


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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