It’s often only years later, when the lawsuits start teasing out emails, that you understand how certain harrowing instances of university research misconduct get to the point where, as at Duke University, “the methods used by [a] research group [weren’t] validated — and yet they [were] being used to assign patients to clinical trials.”

And just as in the University North Carolina Chapel Hill academic fraud case the (ignored, defamed) whistle blower was a person who ranked low in the local hierarchy, so in the Duke case, Bradley Perez was just a medical student, and when he complained to the now-notorious Anil Potti about the bogus research Potti was involving Perez in, the faker drew himself up to his full measure of fakery and told Perez “he takes it as a personal insult if people don’t believe in what he is doing.”

Perez persisted, casting about for other administrators who could help him put an end to Potti’s fraud. They weren’t helpful. They still aren’t. Two of Duke’s highest level administrators – Sally Kornbluth and Victor Dzau (famous Victor Dzau!) continue to insist they knew nothing about Perez’s early and frequent warnings.

Did Kornbluth know about the Perez case? Did Victor Dzau, who was then Duke Chancellor?

The answers are yes and yes.


One scientific observer, considering this case as it has now revealed itself, comments:

“There is more to this story than the heroic and principled actions of an erudite young man and the shame that has befallen a great university in blindly and selfishly defending its own. It is indicative of a lack of understanding of the scientific method among many scientists… The Duke scandal is extreme, to be sure. But irreproducibility in academic research is common. And the reward structure and complacency of universities is to blame.”

There’s money on the table, in other words, so let’s not fuck it up.

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One Response to ““Potti’s mentor, cancer geneticist Joseph Nevins, pleaded with Perez not to send a letter about his concerns to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which was supporting him, because it would trigger an investigation at Duke, according to a deposition cited in court documents.””

  1. Dr. Gene Nelson Says:

    Very nice summary, Professor Margaret Soltan.

    I believe that the Publisher of The Cancer Letter, Paul Goldberg deserves accolades for his longstanding interest in the Anil Potti, M.D. case. The Cancer Letter first raised concerns regarding Anil Potti’s false claim that he was a Rhodes Scholar in 2010. Now, The Cancer Letter has revealed Bradley Perez, M.D.’s 2008 concerns regarding Potti’s research. Publisher Paul Goldberg is providing no-cost public access to the 09 January 2015 issue of The Cancer Letter at the publication’s website. Paul is maintaining watch after DukeCheck’s founder Ed Rickards, who also monitored the Anil Potti case, died in February, 2014. “RIP, Ed Rickards: Duke watchdog who covered Anil Potti case dies at 72” was the Retraction Watch headline on 02 March 2014.

    In my view, it is unfortunate that Anil Potti, M.D. is still practicing medicine at the Cancer Center of North Dakota, 1451 44th Ave S Unit E, Grand Forks, ND 58201.
    As of today, his North Dakota medical doctor license record, number 12312, still does not reflect his 06 March 2012 PUBLIC REPRIMAND issued by the Medical Board of Missouri. This omission is in violation of the terms of the Medical Board of Missouri agreement.

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