Fed drops former student’s lawsuit against USF
Published: Monday, April 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 9, 2012 01:04
A U.S. District Court justice unveiled last week a case filed in 2008 by a former USF doctoral student, claiming USF’s College of Medicine falsified research data to obtain more than $2 million in research funding.
According to the Tampa Tribune, the student, Darren Rubin, filed a complaint to USF President Judy Genshaft’s office in 2005. He claimed a USF lab worker found two notebooks documenting the same study, one of which falsely labeled the experiment material as estrogen to better their chances at receiving the $1.25 million in National Institutes for Health funding and $970,000 in funding from the Florida Department of Health.
Rubin’s complaint said he was asked to “lock away” the evidence after discovering it, according to the Tribune.
USF spokesman Michael Hoad said USF Health’s Associate Vice President for Research Philip Marty conducted an investigation into the matter at the time, before the University also dismissed the claims.
“USF Health’s associate vice president for research, Phillip Marty, conducted a thorough review,” he said. “He interviewed the parties involved, he reviewed the research and in fact even asked a researcher at Moffitt Cancer Center to review the findings. That researcher confirmed the conclusions of the USF study. Bottom line: The USF review did not find evidence of falsification, fabrication or plagiarism.”
Marty said he had been requested to refer all comments on the case to Hoad.
Though the case initially listed Rubin and the federal and state governments as plaintiffs, the federal government chose to pull out of the case Wednesday.
“USF did the right thing, which is why the Justice Department is staying out of it,” Hoad said. “But we can’t comment on further litigation that the complainant may choose to pursue.”