Findings of Research Misconduct

Notice Number: NOT-OD-12-067

Key Dates
Release Date: March 2, 2012

Issued by
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has taken final action in the following case:

Michael W. Miller, Ph.D., State University of New York, Upstate Medical University: Based on the report of an investigation conducted by the State University of New York, Upstate Medical University (SUNY UMU) and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Dr. Michael W. Miller, former Professor and Chair, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, SUNY UMU, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grants R01 AA07568-18A1, R01 AA06916, and P50 AA017823-01.

ORI finds that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying and/or fabricating data that were included in grant applications R01 AA07568-18, R01 AA07568-18A1, R01 AA006916-25, and P50 AA017823-01 and in the following:

 As a result of its investigation, SUNY UMU recommended that Dev. Neurosci. 2009 and J. Neurochem. 2007 be retracted. Both publications have now been retracted:

Specifically, ORI finds that the Respondent:

Dr. Miller has entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement (Agreement). Dr. Miller neither admits nor denies committing research misconduct but accepts ORI has found evidence of research misconduct as set forth above. 

Dr. Miller has voluntarily agreed:

(1) To exclude himself voluntarily 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' pursuant to HHS' Implementation (2 CFR part 376 et seq) of OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR part 180 (collectively the ``Debarment Regulations') for a period of one (1) year, beginning on February 6, 2012;

(2) To have his research supervised for a period of two (2) years immediately following the one (1) year period of exclusion; Respondent agrees that prior to the submission of an application for U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) support for a research project on which the Respondent's participation is proposed and prior to the Respondent's participation in any capacity on PHS-supported research, Respondent shall ensure that a plan for supervision of Respondent's duties is submitted to ORI for approval; the supervision plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of Respondent's research contribution as outlined below; Respondent agrees that he shall not participate in any PHS-supported research until such a supervision plan is submitted to and approved by ORI; Respondent agrees to maintain responsibility for compliance with the agreed upon supervision plan; the requirements for Respondent's supervision plan are as follows:

  1. A committee of 2-3 senior faculty members at the institution who are familiar with Respondent's field of research, but not including Respondent's supervisor or collaborators, will provide oversight and guidance for two (2) years immediately following the period of exclusion; the committee will review primary data from Respondent's laboratory on a quarterly basis and submit a report to ORI at six (6) month intervals setting forth the committee meeting dates, Respondent's compliance with appropriate research standards, and confirming the integrity of Respondent's research; and
  2. The committee will conduct an advance review of any PHS grant applications (including supplements, resubmissions, etc.), manuscripts reporting PHS-funded research submitted for publication, and abstracts; the review will include a discussion with Respondent of the primary data represented in those documents and include a certification to ORI that the data presented in the proposed application/publication is supported by the research record;

(3) That any institution employing him during the two (2) years during which the supervisory plan is in effect shall submit, in conjunction with each application for PHS funds, or report, manuscript, or abstract involving PHS-supported research in which Respondent is involved, a certification to ORI that the data provided by Respondent are based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract; and

(4) 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 a period of three (3) years, beginning on February 6, 2012.



Division of Investigative Oversight
Office of Research Integrity
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Rockville, MD 20852
(240) 453-8800

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