AIDS Research Team in Iowa Loses $1.38M Grant
An AIDS research team at Iowa State University will not get the final $1.38 million payment of a National Institutes of Health five-year grant after a team member admitted last year to faking research results, the NIH said Tuesday.
One of the members of the research team, Dong-Pyou Han, has pleaded not guilty in federal court to four counts of making false statements in research reports. He is free on bond awaiting trial scheduled for Sept. 2.
The research team, led by biomedical sciences professor Michael Cho, was awarded $6.8 million to be paid over five years by the NIH, but it won’t see the last payment. The team previously received grants totaling $7.6 million.
The university has agreed to repay the government $496,000 for Han’s salary and other costs tied to his employment at ISU during the research. Han may not apply for or receive grants from the U.S. government for three years, the NIH said, but Cho’s team and other researchers at ISU can.
"NIH makes funding decisions based on scientific merit of the proposed research to eligible organizations/institutions. The researchers are eligible to apply for future NIH grant funding through their institutions just as other researchers may apply," the agency said in an emailed statement.
University spokesman John McCarroll said the team, which consists of 10 researchers, has sufficient funding to continue its work. McCarroll said experts at federal agencies have told him it can take two to five years to recover from the negative perceptions created by a misconduct incident.
He said Cho continues to be a respected researcher and people seem to understand he was not aware of faked lab work.