Indian-American researcher put on leave after false claims

Last Updated : 21 July 2010, 04:58 IST
Last Updated : 21 July 2010, 04:58 IST

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The discrepancy revealed in an investigative article in The Cancer Letter said that in his grant application to National Institute of Health, Duke Oncologist and genomics researcher Anil Potti claimed to have won the prestigious Rhodes scholarship.
"Duke is aware of the allegations raised in the article regarding Dr. Potti and has instituted a formal internal investigation," the Duke University spokesman Douglas Stokke said.

"Dr. Potti has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation," he said.
As a result, the three trials being conducted by Potti have been suspended by the Duke University.

"In this new light, the investigators of three clinical trials... elected to suspend enrollment of new study subjects... until a full review of the underlying data and a re-review of the science can be completed," Stokke said.
Potti's research involved a genetic test that he claimed could predict who might respond well to certain cancer drugs; the trials were testing that approach, reported Lexington Herald Leader.

Potti is receiving more than USD 600,000 through two federal cancer research grants from NIH.

He is also in the middle of a five-year lung cancer study for which he is receiving USD 729,000 from the American Cancer Society, which has suspended payments to his grant pending its own investigation.

"We are profoundly concerned to learn that a Duke University researcher made claims about his credentials in applications to the American Cancer Society and others that may not be true," said Otis W Brawley, the American Cancer Society's chief medical officer.
According to a brief bio posted in the University website, Potti, is an Associate Professor in Department of Medicine and IGSP.

He received his MD degree from Christian Medical College, Vellore.
After completing an internal medicine residency and fellowship training in Hematology and medical oncology, most recently he was a fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Nevins at Duke where he was involved in peripheral blood profiling and the development of genomic strategies to improve prognosis and treatment, with specific relevance to lung cancer.

Published 21 July 2010, 04:58 IST

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