National Whistleblowers Center
Harvard Teaching Hospital to Face Trial for Research Fraud
Washington, D.C. May 8, 2012. In a resounding reversal, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit yesterday ordered that a whistleblower claim alleging research fraud by Harvard Teaching Hospial will proceed to trial. The case involves one of the largest Alzheimer’s disease research grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Kenneth Jones, the chief statistician for the NIH grant, blew the whistle after realizing that measurements used to demonstrate the reliability of the study had been secretly altered. Without these alterations, Dr. Jones explained, there was no statistical significance to the major findings of the study. After Dr. Jones insisted that the altered measurements be subjected to a reliability study and that the results could not be presented as part of a $15 million federal grant extension application, he was terminated and his career came to an end.
The First Circuit overturned a lower court decision finding that the court had failed to consider substantial evidence of fraud. This evidence established that Harvard knew of the falsifications and failed to take action to correct or disavow the data.
Links: First Circuit Court Decision