Duke geneticist resigns over alleged research misconduct

Recent trouble over alleged research misconduct at Duke University has led to the resignation of geneticist Anil Potti. "He accepted full responsibility for a series of anomalies in data handling, analysis and management that have come under scrutiny in the past months," said Hunt Willard, director of Duke University's Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy.

Three clinical trials based on Potti's research have been terminated and two of his papers have been retracted--one in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and another in Nature Medicine. The Oncology paper reported on genomic signatures that could predict the response of ovarian cancer patients to cisplatin drug therapy. It was part of the basis for clinical trials started by Duke in 2007. However, Potti's co-author Joseph Nevins, says that the authors retracted the paper because "they have been unable to reproduce the experiments demonstrating a capacity of a cisplatin response signature to validate in either a collection of ovarian cancer cell lines or ovarian tumor samples," according to a report in the Nature blog The Great Beyond.

Potti is also accused of puffing his resume by claiming awards he did not win, including a Rhodes Scholarship.

Willard told The Chronicle, Duke's student newspaper, that the resignation is not an admission of research misconduct by Potti. The investigation into the alleged misconduct continues.

- and here's the Duke release
- read a report on Potti's resignation in The Great Beyond
- and another on the retraction of his Oncology paper
- see The Chronicle's take