Release Date:  December 31, 2001

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-02-021

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:

Ms. Vilma Valentin, Boston University School of Medicine:  Based on the report 
of an investigation conducted by the Boston University (BU) School of Medicine 
(BU Report) as well as additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight 
review, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) found that Ms. Vilma Valentin, a 
former counselor and interventionist on the BU Inner City Asthma Study at the 
BU School of Medicine, engaged in scientific misconduct by fabricating records 
in research funded by two National Institute of Allergy and Infectious 
Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), cooperative agreements: 
 U01 AI39776, "Data Coordinating Center for NCICAS II," and U01 AI39769, 
"Trial of Interventions to Reduce Asthma Morbidity."

Specifically, PHS found that Ms. Valentin fabricated:  (1) the data on three 
environmental intervention forms for visits that she allegedly made to two 
patients' homes in early and late August 1999; these visits did not take 
place; and (2) the reports of two telephone calls that she allegedly made to 
the two patients' families during the same period; these calls were not made. 
 The study intervention included home visits, telephone calls, and advocacy 
letters, all of which were central to the research, which sought to evaluate 
the effectiveness of two interventions to reduce asthma severity.  Thus, the 
data and reports could have had a substantive effect on the outcome of the 
research had the institution not corrected the research record.

While acknowledging the findings of scientific misconduct as set forth above 
and in the BU Report but without admitting liability or wrongdoing, Ms. 
Valentin has entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement in which she has 
voluntarily agreed for a period of three (3) years, beginning on December 5, 

(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 that submits an application for PHS support for a 
research project on which Ms. Valentin's participation is proposed, that uses 
her in any capacity on PHS-supported research, or that submits a report of 
PHS-funded research in which she is involved, must concurrently submit a plan 
for supervision of her duties to the funding agency for approval.  The 
supervisory plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of Ms. 
Valentin's research contribution.


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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