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Notice

Findings of Research Misconduct

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AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

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

Junghee J. Shin, PhD, New York Medical College: Based on the report of an investigation conducted by New York Medical College (NYMC) and additional analysis by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in its oversight review, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) found that Junghee J. Shin, PhD, former graduate student, NYMC, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grants R01 AI048856 and R01 AI043063.

PHS found that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying data in Figure 4 of a manuscript submitted to the journal Infection and Immunity (Shin, J.J., Godfrey, H.P., & Cabello, F.C. “Expression and localization of BmpC in Borrelia burgdorferi after growth under various environmental conditions.” Submitted to Infection and Immunity; hereafter referred to as the “manuscript”) and Figure 5 of a paper published in Infection and Immunity (Shin, J.J. Bryksin, A.V., Godfrey, H.P., & Cabello, F.C. “Localization of BmpA on the exposed outer membrane of Borrelia burgdorferi by monospecific anti-recombinant BmpA rabbit antibodies.” Infection and Immunity 72(4):2280-2287, April 2004; hereafter referred to as the “paper.” Retracted in: Infection and Immunity 76(10):4792, October 2008). Specifically, NYMC and ORI found that:

  • Dr. Shin falsified microscopic immunofluorescence blank images in Figure 4 of the manuscript (top row, 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th panels, and bottom row, 1st panel) and Figure 5 of the paper (top row, 1st and 5th panels, lower 1st panel) by using one blank image from an unknown experiment to falsely represent the preimmunization control conditions (intact cells and methanol fixation) as well as the negative staining of anti-BmpC and anti-FlaB in Figure 4 and anti-FlaB in Figure 5 on intact cells.
  • Dr. Shin falsified at least one of two images in Figure 4 of the manuscript and Figure 5 of the paper by using different portions of a green-red pair of microscopic immunofluorescence images (1230036.tif and 1230037.tif) because unfixed cells staining positive for BmpA in the top row, 4th panel, of Figure 5 were the same unfixed cells purportedly positive for OspA in the top row, 3rd panel, of Figure 4.
  • Dr. Shin falsified at least one of two images in Figure 4 of the manuscript and Figure 5 of the paper by using different photo cropping from a single microscopic immunofluorescence image (1230039.tif) to represent fixed cells positive for BmpA and labeled with anti-FlaB in the lower row, 5th panel, of Figure 5 and to also represent fixed cells positive for BmpC and stained with anti-FlaB in the lower row, 5th panel, of Figure 4.

Dr. Shin has entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement in which she has voluntarily agreed, for a period of three (3) years, beginning on April 5, 2011:

(1) That any institution that submits an application for PHS support for a research project on which the Respondent's participation is proposed or 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 ORI for approval; the supervisory plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of her research contribution; Respondent agrees that she will not participate in any PHS-supported research until such a supervision plan is submitted to ORI; and

(2) to exclude herself voluntarily from service 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Director, Division of Investigative Oversight, Office of Research Integrity, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 750, Rockville, MD 20852, (240) 453-8800.

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John Dahlberg,

Director, Division of Investigative Oversight, Office of Research Integrity.

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[FR Doc. 2011-10157 Filed 4-26-11; 8:45 am]

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