Friday, March 18, 2005

Oh, Brother! Another PROF ruining grants for the rest of us. And they say these people are educated! SHEESH!

Professor Charged With Faking Grant Info

U.S. National - AP
By LISA RATHKE, Associated Press Writer

BURLINGTON, Vt. - A former medical school professor was accused Thursday of fabricating research data on closely watched topics such as menopause, aging and hormone supplements to win millions of dollars in grant money from the federal government.

Prosecutors said Eric T. Poehlman, 49, a former tenured professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, would fabricate his research to make his proposals look more intriguing, in the hope that the government would be more likely to dole out grants to him.

"Dr. Poehlman fraudulently diverted millions of dollars from Public Health Service to support his research projects," U.S. Attorney David V. Kirby said Thursday. "This in turn siphoned millions of dollars from the pool of resources available for valid scientific research proposals. As this prosecution provides, such conduct will not be tolerated."

Poehlman has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges of making false statements in an application for a $542,000 grant he received, federal prosecutors said. He faces up to five years in prison. He is also barred by the federal government from receiving Public Health Research funds and must retract or correct 10 articles.
Poehlman is accused of requesting $11.6 million in federal funding using false data. Although he did not receive many of the grants, the National Institutes of Health (
news - web sites) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (news - web sites) used $2.9 million in research funding based on the faulty applications, prosecutors said.

His lawyer, Robert B. Hemley, said Thursday that he was unwilling to comment on the case until at least after the sentencing.

In a paper on published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 1995, Poehlman said he had tested 35 healthy women and retested the same women six years later in the "The Longitudinal Menopause Study: 1994-2000" when he actually falsified and fabricated test results for 32 of the women.

In applications for federal grants, Poehlman lied about the number of subjects he had tested in "The Longitudinal Study of Aging: 1996-2000" and changed the data about their physical characteristics and test results to create trends that did not occur in the research. Poehlman also made up the results from a 1999-2000 Hormone Replacement Therapy study to seek federal funding.

UVM started to investigate Poehlman in December of 2000 when one of his research assistants accused him of scientific misconduct.
During the two-year investigation, Poehlman deleted electronic evidence of his falsifications, presented false testimony and documents and influenced other witnesses to provide false documents, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Poehlman resigned from the medical school in 2001 and moved to Montreal, Canada to work as a researcher. He has since left his job in Canada. Poehlman has also agreed to pay $180,000 to settle a civil complaint.

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