FINDINGS OF SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT

Release Date:  June 27, 2001

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-01-046

Department of Health and Human Services

A [Federal Register] notice beginning on page 27974 in the issue of May 21, 
2001, entitled “Findings of Scientific Misconduct” is hereby reprinted in its 
entirety to correctly represent the position of Dr. Saleh with respect to the 
Voluntary Exclusion Agreement that was omitted in the original printing.

Ayman Saleh, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh:  Based on the report of an 
inquiry conducted by the University of Pittsburgh and additional analysis 
conducted by ORI in its oversight review, the U.S. Public Health Service 
(PHS) found that Dr. Saleh, former postdoctoral research associate, School of 
Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, engaged in scientific misconduct in 
research supported by the National Institutes of Health.

PHS finds that Dr. Saleh falsified:

(A)  data for a manuscript which purported to show Western blots of rabbit 
Bcl-2 and tubulin; the blots were actually obtained from different 
experiments by another researcher using antibody against Hsp70 and against 
Bag-1, respectively;

(B)  the label on a Western blot for Bcl-2 that he presented to the inquiry 
committee as evidence that he had conducted the experiment at issue; the blot 
was actually from a different experiment by a coworker;

(C)  data for a laboratory figure purported to represent a rabbit PARP 
cleavage blot; the data was from another experiment, and the antibody to PARP 
was not available to Dr. Saleh at that time;

(D)  Western blot data on pcasp-9 and p37/p35 for a manuscript on Hsp27; the 
data represented experiments that could not be performed because the cell 
lines were unavailable at the time; and

(E)  Figure 2b, the panel that shows a Western blot of Casp-9(WT) in a 
publication by Srinivasa M. Srinivasula, Ramesh Hegde, Ayman Saleh, Pinaki 
Datta, Eric Shiozaki, Jijie Chais, Ryung-Ah Lee, Paul D. Robbins, Theresa 
Fernandes-Alnemri, Yigong Shi, and Emad S. Alnemri. “A conserved XIAP-
interaction motif in caspase-9 and Smac/DIABLO regulates caspase activity and 
apoptosis.” Nature 410(6824):112-116, 2001.  The Figure 2b data were actually 
taken from a Western blot of Bcl-XL data, in which Dr. Saleh transposed the 
lanes.

The experiments examined the regulation of programmed cell death (apoptosis), 
a process that is important to a better understanding of cancer.  Figure 2b 
in the Nature paper represented a control experiment that confirmed the 
association of an X-linked gene to a particular type of apoptosis.

While neither accepting nor admitting to the findings of scientific 
misconduct, Dr. Saleh has entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement with 
PHS in which he has voluntarily agreed for a period of three (3) years, 
beginning on May 3, 2001:

(1)  to exclude himself from any contracting or subcontracting with any 
agency of the United States Government and from eligibility for, or 
involvement in, nonprocurement transactions (e.g., grants and cooperative 
agreements) of the United States Government as defined in 45 C.F.R. Part 76 
(Debarment Regulations);

(2) 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.

INQUIRIES

For further information contact:

Director
Division of Investigative Oversight
Office of Research Integrity
5515 Security Lane, Suite 700
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  301- 443-5330


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