FINDINGS OF SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT

RELEASE DATE:  February 24, 2004

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-04-030

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

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:

Bernd Hoffmann, Ph.D., University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey :  
Based on two inquiry/investigation reports from the University of Medicine and 
Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its 
oversight review, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) found that Bernd 
Hoffmann, Ph.D., former Postdoctoral Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor, 
Department of Pharmacology at UMDNJ, engaged in scientific misconduct in  
research supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant 2 R01 GM052309-05.

PHS found that Dr. Hoffmann engaged in scientific misconduct by falsifying 
and fabricating research data in a manuscript entitled “LIS1/NUDF and CLIP-
170 are required for dynein-mediated vesicle transport on microtubules” that 
had been submitted to the Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), but was withdrawn 
before publication.  Specifically, Respondent:

(1)  falsified data values on the second line from the bottom of Table 
IV; for example, the correct number under “Bound” in the first column 
was only one-third of that shown (325) in the manuscript;

(2)  falsified data by erasing a band of approximate molecular weight 
15KD from Figure 5A in the manuscript; and

(3)  falsified a related movie film available on the Internet by 
altering the movement of the vesicles.

PHS also found that Dr. Hoffmann engaged in scientific misconduct by 
falsifying and fabricating research data in a published paper entitled 
“The LIS1-related Protein NUDF of Aspergillus nidulans and its 
Interaction Partner NUDE Bind Directly to Specific Subunits of Dynein 
and Dynactin and to Alpha- and Gamma- Tubulin” that had been published 
in the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) at 276:38877-38884, 2001.  
Specifically, Respondent:

(1)  falsified Figure 5A left, Western blot with the alpha tubulin 
antibody for incubated proteins (+E+gamma+alpha); the lower right band 
was reused twice in Figure 2A.  In Figure 5A, it was used as gamma 
tubulin band for the coprecipitation experiment with NUDF-Prot.S and as 
NUDE for the coprecipitation experiments with NUDG (CDLC)-Flag;

(2)  falsified Figure 5A left, NUDF Western blot with the alpha tubulin 
antibody for incubated proteins (+E+gamma+alpha); the lower left band 
was reused in Figure 2A as alpha tubulin in the coprecipitation 
experiment with NUDF-Prot.S; and 

(3)  falsified Figure 4A left, NUDF and for the interaction between the 
two proteins NUDA and NUDF, pulled out with NUDA-FLAG-agarose, had been 
used at several other places such as Figure 5A left, left gamma tubulin 
band, Figure 5B left, NUDE band for the interaction E + alpha, and 
Figure 5B right, NUDE band for the interaction E + K (ARP1).

Dr. Hoffmann has entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement 
(Agreement ) in which he has voluntarily agreed for a period of three 
(3) years, beginning on January 30, 2004:

(1)  to exclude himself 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” as defined in the debarment 
regulations at 45 C.F.R. Part 76;

(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, or as a consultant; and

(3)  to draft a letter of retraction and send it to ORI along with the 
signed Agreement.  The draft letter requested the retraction of the JBC 
paper published at 276:38877-38884, 2001 and stated that he falsified 
and fabricated data in Figures 2A, 4A, 5A, and 5B.  Upon ORI approval 
of the draft letter, Respondent agreed to send the final retraction 
letter to the Editor of JBC.

INQUIRIES

For further information contact:

Director
Division of Investigative Oversight
Office of Research Integrity
1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 750
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  301- 443-5330


Return to Volume Index

Return to NIH Guide Main Index


Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
  USA.gov - Government Made Easy


Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.