UA researcher accused of research fraud
(AP) - A University of Arizona professor who made a splash with her study indicating vitamin E could reduce the damage caused by aging now faces accusations that she falsified and manipulated data.
Marguerite Kay, a nationally renowned researcher on Alzheimer's disease, has been accused by former researchers and other professors of manipulating data to come up with the results she wanted in several studies.
A group of University of Arizona professors accused her of scientific misconduct during a six-day hearing that concluded Saturday. A panel created by the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure heard testimony and will now recommend action to university President Peter Likins.
She also has been accused of seriously mismanaging her lab and putting her employees at risk by violating safety regulations.
Kay vehemently denied she tampered with data. She said it appears data in one of her published articles was manipulated without her knowledge by a former lab worker who did the calculations.
Kay, 50, received worldwide press in May 1996 with a study that suggested vitamin E supplements could slow the decline of the immune and brain systems in aging mice.
In addition to data manipulation charges, she was also accused of misrepresenting the number of subjects used in her studies.
Two former lab employees testified last week that articles on the vitamin E study and two articles dealing with the search for an Alzheimer's blood test were based on incomplete and manipulated data.