The Murthy Case: Recognizing the Dedication of ORI Staff
Message from the Office of the Director
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) released today a summary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) v. Dr. H.M. Krishna Murthy case. It discusses an investigation that has taken years – and countless hours of ORI work — to resolve. Additionally, the institution dedicated a massive amount of time and effort to the inquiry and investigation. I’m taking advantage of this opportunity to acknowledge the range of contributions by ORI staff on this case and all other work we do to protect U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) funding.
ORI investigators are most visible to the institutions and Research Integrity Officers (RIOs) who interact with us on cases. Their diligence, pursuit of scientific rigor, and extraordinary technical skill are essential to fair assessment of institutional investigation reports. They make themselves available to provide technical assistance to institutions in developing those reports. ORI investigators also work closely with the HHS Office of General Counsel (OGC) to weigh the evidence on the likelihood of research misconduct (RM), align findings, and execute administrative actions.
Almost 5000 institutions in the United States and worldwide who receive PHS funding sign assurances of compliance with 42 C.F.R. Part 93. If an institutional report is insufficient for ORI to make a finding, ORI conducts a compliance review. ORI then provides written notice to the institution on the differences between their declared and actual processes as reflected in the institutional report, with an aim to remedy inadequacies.
ORI staff handles thousands of queries each year. Extensive record-keeping and the experience of ORI’s staff enable responsive and consistent application of 42 C.F.R. Part 93. We also consult with other federal departments and agencies as appropriate, given the sources of funding that may be involved in an allegation of RM.
Experience with cases may be adapted as case studies for a range of ORI training and educational efforts, including website and social media updates, professional presentations, and lectures. ORI hosts a range of domestic and international visitors from institutions seeking to improve their research integrity programs, and we provide grants for workshops and research in RM and the responsible conduct of research.
Everyone at ORI works to meet the intent of 42 C.F.R. Part 93. Case findings attract the public’s attention, but the day-to-day actions of ORI staff are essential to success. A judge’s ruling in ORI’s favor is cause for recognition. We’re particularly pleased to announce this major decision released on April 2, 2018. I thank the many ORI staff, particularly the investigators, and OGC colleagues whose perseverance on this case made all the difference.
Wanda Jones, DrPH
Office of Research Integrity
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services