FINDINGS OF SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT

RELEASE DATE:  July 20, 2004

NOTICE:  NOT-OD-04-053

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:

Tirunelveli S. Ramalingam, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology: Based 
on the report of an investigation conducted by the California Institute of 
Technology (CIT Report) and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its 
oversight review, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) found that Tirunelveli 
S. Ramalingam, Ph.D., former Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Biology at CIT, 
engaged in scientific misconduct in research supported by National Institute 
for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), National Institutes of Health 
(NIH), grant 1 R01 AI41239-01, ``Neonatal Fc receptor/IgG interaction.'' 
Specifically, PHS found that:

A. Respondent plagiarized Figures 6a and 7a from: Dustin, M.L. “Adhesive Bond 
Dynamics in Contacts between T Lymphocytes and Glass-supported Planar 
Bilayers Reconstituted with the Immunoglobulin-related Adhesion Molecule 
CD58.” J. Biol. Chem. 272:15782-15788, 1997 (hereafter referred to as the 
“JBC 1997 paper”). B. Respondent also falsified Figures 6a and 7a from the 
JBC 1997 paper by electronically manipulating the images and representing 
them as a different experiment in Figure 6 of NIH grant application 2 R01 
AI41239-06A1, entitled “Analysis of the Neonatal Fc Receptor/IgG 
Interaction.” C. Respondent fabricated timed experimental data obtained from 
using the fluorescense recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) technique in 
Figure 7 (upper and lower panels) in a draft manuscript: “IgG can bridge 
between adjacent membranes containing the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn): 
Implications for FcRn-mediated transport of IgG.”

The draft manuscript was not submitted for publication; however, due to the 
laboratory's inability to verify scientific experiments conducted by Dr. 
Ramalingam, two other papers published in Nature Cell Biology in 2000 and 
EMBO Journal in 2002 were retracted. Dr. Ramalingam has entered into a 
Voluntary Exclusion Agreement (Agreement ) in which he has voluntarily agreed 
for a period of three (3) years, beginning on July 2, 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 CFR part 76; and 
(2) To exclude himself from serving in any advisory capacity to the PHS 
including but not limited to service on [[Page 43421]] any PHS advisory 
committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant.

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


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