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ORI Publishes Misconduct Finding Against Former SRI Research Technician

According to a notice posted on the Office of Research Integrity website, Melanie Cokonis, a former research technician with the Southern Research Institute, voluntarily agreed to a three-year debarment to settle allegations of misconduct in research supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

The ORI found that Cokonis had “falsified data for cytoprotection assays with antiviral compounds and provided the false data for inclusion in reports submitted to NIH” and that she had also “transferred raw data from 8X12 SoftmaxPro matrix files into spreadsheets and then falsified the numbers for cell control, virus control, drug cytotoxicity, drug only, and/or cells+ virus+ drug wells to make 206 assays appear to have been successfully performed when they were not.”

For this, Cokonis has agreed to a governmentwide debarment as well as excluding herself “from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant” for a period of three years (effective May 29, 2014).

For more details, see original notice at http://ori.hhs.gov/content/case-summary-cokonis-melanie