The AIDS vaccine turned out to be a fake, but what you might not know yet is that the professor who claimed to have found it had knowingly committed fraud. Dr. Dong-Pyou Han faked the results in order to gain millions of dollars in grant money for Iowa State University.
How did the professor fake the results? He used healthy human blood to make it appear as though he had found a cure for AIDS. James Bradac, head of AIDS research for the National Institutes for Health, said that the spiked sample had earned $19 million in grants. Sadly, the results were all a lie.
The research had raised suspicion when other scientists elsewhere were unable to reproduce the results achieved by Dr. Dong-Pyou Han. This was when NIH looked further into the supposed cure and found human antibodies in what should have been rabbit blood.
John McCarroll, a spokesman for Iowa State University, stated the results of the inquiry in an email:
“At Iowa State’s request, the research samples in question were examined by researchers at another university; they confirmed samples had been spiked. He later admitted responsibility and resigned from Iowa State, effective [October] 4, 2013.”
Yet another vaccine researcher caught faking research; vaccine industry riddled with scientific… http://t.co/d4y1Ab9D98
— GS Nova (@GSNova1) December 27, 2013
It is suspected that Han had worked alone to create a fraudulent AIDS vaccine. Research team leader Dr. Michael Cho, who had worked with Han in the past, apparently had nothing to do with the spiked sample. Cho will not be facing disciplinary action, though if it were up to Dr. Ivan Oransky, Dr. Dong-Pyou Han would face harsh consequences beyond already being banned from federally funded research.
Oransky has said he would like to see Han face serious charges over his fraudulent activity for the sake of grant money:
“This is fraud, and the question is whether it’s a big enough case for the government to go after. I think it’s time for the government to criminally prosecute more of these cases.”
Apparently we are no closer to finding a cure for AIDS than we were last year. However, with Dr. Dong-Pyou Han’s fraud having been discovered, we can probably be assured that there will be safeguards against another faked breakthrough such as this. Scientists will know what to look for if another AIDS vaccine is claimed to have been discovered.
What do you think? Should Dr. Dong-Pyou Han face severe criminal charges for knowingly spiking results to get millions in federal funding?