AIDS Cure Faked by Iowa State University Professor
A professor at ISU's Department of Biomedical Services resigned after admitting he falsified AIDS cure research.
Dr. Dong-Pyou Han, a professor at Iowa State University's Department of Biomedical Services, and a member of a team of researchers who had won $19 million in National Institutes of Health grants to pursue research for what was supposedly an AIDS vaccine developed from rabbit blood resigned after admitting that the research was falsified, according to the Ames Tribune.
Han, a professor at ISU since 2009, took blood from rabbits and mixed it with blood from people who were HIV positive. The HIV positive blood, which was producing antibodies for AIDS, mixed with the rabbit's blood made it look like the animal blood developed the antibodies on its own, thus successfully fighting the HIV virus
Han "falsified results in research to develop a vaccine against human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) by intentionally spiking samples of rabbit sera with antibodies to provide the desired results," said the results of an investigation into Han published in the Federal Register.
"When we saw these exciting developments, we didn't at the time think there was any problem with contamination," Dr. James Bradac, who oversees AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health told the Ames Tribune. "It's difficult to pull this off and it's difficult not to be detected."
According to the Register, Han's team members did not know the research was falsified and accepted it as a legitimate cure. The findings were "widely reported in laboratory meetings, seven (7) national and international symposia between 2010 and 2012, and in grant applications and progress reports."
It wasn't until January 2013 that Han's team members realized the cure was faked, when they were unable to duplicate the results from Han's research.
Han fully admitted to what he did in October, and resigned from the university. Han also agreed to enter three-year "voluntary exclusion agreement," where he won't enter any federal contract and won't serve as an advisor or consultant to the U.S. Public Health Service, the Register said.
"This was rather depressing but time marches on," Bardac told the Ames Tribune. "I'm glad the investigation is over and they determined what happened."