UK scientists found responsible for research misconduct


Emily Girard

After a yearlong investigation, a UK faculty member has been found responsible for research misconduct, according to an email by UK Provost David Blackwell and Vice President for Research Lisa Cassis.

Dr. Stuart Jarrett, a research assistant professor in the Markey Cancer Center, was found to have contributed to four research papers and two grant proposals that contained inaccurate data.

Dr. John D’Orazio, another faculty member in the Markey Cancer Center, co-authored papers with this data. D’Orazio was not found guilty of research misconduct, as he did not collect the data. However, Cassis and Blackwell’s email stated that D’Orazio “failed to maintain sufficient oversight over…Jarrett’s work” as the head of the lab in which Jarrett worked.

The release from UK public relations stated that UK an outside alerted UK to the potential misconduct in April of 2019. The investigation concluded in April of 2020.

As a result of this investigation, Jarrett’s research papers will be corrected, and all co-authors will be notified. Jarrett resigned his university position in September 2019.

Dr. D’Orazio will step down from his research leadership role in the Markey Center, though he will still serve as chief of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. 

“The actions taken in no way impact [D’Orazio’s] role in the clinic, nor his ability to provide outstanding care to patients,” Cassis and Blackwell said in an official statement.

Additionally, all members of Dr. D’Orazio’s lab will be required to receive Responsible Conduct of Research Training. UK will also explore mandatory use of electric lab notebooks to archive data. 

“We are—and must be—committed to research that addresses Kentucky’s most significant challenges—from cancer to heart disease,” Blackwell said in a press release. “That research must be conducted in the most ethical and responsible manner possible.”