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July 24, 1996

Appeals Board Exonerates Baltimore, Imanishi-Kari

JAMA. 1996;276(4):266. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540040010005

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IN A DECISION that will undoubtedly have repercussions for dealing with scientific misconduct in government-financed research, the Departmental Appeals Board of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) exonerated Thereza Imanishi-Kari, PhD, an immunology researcher at Tufts University, Boston, Mass, of all charges made by the Office of Research Integrity that she had "intentionally and deliberately fabricated and falsifed experimental data and results."

The board's decision, number 1582, was released in late June after 6 weeks of hearings last summer and lengthy examination and discussion of the record (70 original laboratory notebooks and 6500 pages of hearing transcript).

The board concluded that "the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) did not prove its charges by a preponderance of the evidence," and noted in its decision that the ORI is required to "produce evidence that is more convincing than the opposing evidence and shows as a whole that misconduct was more