Research misconduct statement

The University of Liverpool has launched a wide-ranging review into a case of research misconduct involving a former employee.

In Autumn 2017, a panel was appointed by the University to undertake an internal investigation into concerns about the reproducibility and integrity of data arising from a research project. The investigation focused on research relating to biomarkers of liver damage and the potential this research had to inform mechanisms, diagnosis and prognosis of various disease states.

The investigation concluded that the individual leading the research, who left the University of his own volition last year, was involved in research misconduct. It found that malpractice had directly influenced and undermined the findings of the research.

Due to the range of activities connected with this research, the University has launched a comprehensive review and taken a number of actions including:

  • An ongoing review of all publications and research activity undertaken by the individual concerned during his time at the University. In some cases this is expected to lead to further action including the retraction of published academic research.
  • Key stakeholders, including the relevant regulatory bodies, relevant partner organisations and collaborators have been informed.
  • A comprehensive independent investigation has been commissioned to clarify the full extent of the misconduct and make recommendations for future practice.

Professor Louise Kenny, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Health and Life Sciences, said:

“The integrity of academic research is of the highest importance to the University of Liverpool, which is recognised for delivering world-leading research in many different fields.

“We are therefore very concerned by this case and we are taking comprehensive action to identify any implications for the research and development activities that may have been affected.

“Any potential impact on patient safety is our primary concern. However we are confident, in relation to the research activity investigated thus far, that patient safety has not been compromised.

“We are nonetheless disappointed and deeply concerned by the actions of this individual and committed to working closely with our partners to understand and address all of the relevant issues.

“I would also like to emphasise that no current and no other former employees or collaborators have been implicated as a result of the investigation.”


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