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June 3, 1983

Deeper problems for Darsee: Emory probe

JAMA. 1983;249(21):2867-2872. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330450007004

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The promising research career of 34-year-old John R. Darsee, MD, was aborted in 1981 when he was caught fabricating research results in the Harvard Medical School Laboratory of Eugene Braunwald, MD, chief of medicine at both Brigham and Women's and Beth Israel hospitals in Boston (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 1983;249:1797-1807). A federal investigation done in collaboration with Braunwald and released this spring revealed that Darsee's deception contaminated five Harvard research projects, invalidating nine published reports.

Now a separate, year-long inquiry at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, where Darsee excelled during his 1974-1979 postgraduate training, has uncovered a far more extensive pattern of fraud.

The scandal has touched some of Emory's most senior faculty members and administrators, including chief of medicine J. Willis Hurst, MD, who was Lyndon B. Johnson's cardiologist and a former president of the American Heart Association; Donald O. Nutter, MD, another cardiologist who is executive associate