Dominique R. Garrel, MD; Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret, MD; Pierre Boyle, PhD, MHA
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Garrel D., Rabasa-Lhoret R., Boyle P.; Preventing Scientific Fraud. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145:473. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-145-6-200609190-00019
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(6):473.
TO THE EDITOR:
We read the article on research misconduct and the Poehlman case (1) with great interest. Eric Poehlman was hired by the University of Montréal and obtained a senior Canadian Chair position from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in 2002. He held a professorship position in the department of nutrition at our university and was dismissed when we learned of his misconduct at the University of Vermont. The news of Dr. Poehlman's scientific fraud was a devastating blow to all Canadian scientists and students who worked with him. The possibility that scientific misconduct by Dr. Poehlman had continued at our institution prompted us to perform a full review of all data from projects funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research that were collected under his supervision. This included the verification of all electronically stored data as well as raw data from subjects' records. All student and research assistants testified that no data entry had ever been purposefully altered. In addition, the results of one study funded by a private company were audited by an independent external committee that found no evidence of fraud. This evidence convinced the research committee of our university to allow us to continue Dr. Poehlman's projects after his dismissal and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to resume funding of all projects. We are therefore confident that the data reported in the 6 scientific papers published by Dr. Poehlman while working at our institution (2-7) are untainted. Per our university standard requirements, all raw data are available for examination 5 years after publication.
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