Scholarly Misconduct   Cases of Known or Suspected Fraud - Gallo Case
      Source: The University of California at San Diego’s Online Resource for Instruction in Responsible Conduct of Research: Research Misconduct (

IMANISHI-KARI CASE (David Baltimore)
Summary: Margot O'Toole, a postdoctoral fellow working in the laboratory of Thereza Imanishi-Kari, alleged that Imanishi-Kari had falsified and possibly fabricated data. Over a period of ten years, this case was reviewed by Tufts University, MIT, NIH, the Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI), the U.S. Congress, the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), and the Appeals Board of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The final finding vindicated Imanishi-Kari of research misconduct, although the Appeals Board concluded that "A degree of sloppiness in recording and maintaining data certainly may warrant criticism of Dr. Imanishi-Kari's care in recordkeeping."
· Research Integrity Adjudications Panel (DHHS Appeals Board)
· Final findings: June 21, 1996

Summary: Between 1983 and 1984, French scientists of the Pasteur Institute and U.S. scientists independently reported discovery of a viral cause for AIDS. Over the next five years, charges surfaced that the lead U.S. scientist, Robert Gallo, may have misappropriated the virus from the French laboratory. Based on those charges, Congressman John Dingell initiated an investigation of the allegations. Gallo and a senior colleague (Popovic) were initially found guilty of "minor misconduct". Subsequent reports suggested that recordkeeping in the Gallo laboratory was poor. By 1991, a preliminary report from the Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI) noted evidence of misconduct by Gallo, but a final report essentially held him responsible only for inadequate oversight of work done under his leadership. By the end of 1992, the newly formed Office of Research Integrity (ORI) found Gallo to be guilty of research misconduct. In late 1993, the ORI dropped the allegations against Gallo and Popovic because, based on "new standards," the evidence was insufficient to prove their case. This highly publicized case brings into question a number of issues including recordkeeping in research and the process of handling allegations of research misconduct.

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