Birkbeck head investigated again over research

David Latchman’s work to be subject of new inquiry after he was cleared in 2015

January 4, 2017

The master of Birkbeck, University of London is again under investigation over research misconduct allegations after a previous probe found that he had “no case to answer”.

Prominent geneticist David Latchman is under renewed scrutiny over work by his human genetics research group at University College LondonThe Guardian reported following a Freedom of Information Act request.

A UCL screening panel has concluded that it should open a full investigation in response to new allegations about his work.  

In August 2015, UCL ruled that Professor Latchman had “no case to answer” after looking into several journal papers, including those produced by his research groups, but it also concluded that “Professor Latchman has accepted that there were procedural matters in his lab that required attention”.

This investigation followed the retraction of a 2002 paper from the Journal of Biological Chemistry over the reuse of an image published in a 2001 article.

In response to the latest investigation, a spokeswoman for Birkbeck said: “UCL is currently considering an allegation of potential research misconduct in accordance with UCL procedures.

“The process is ongoing and it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this stage. A previous investigation into allegations made against Professor Latchman's UCL research group found Professor Latchman had no case to answer in relation to research misconduct."

A UCL spokesman said that it had “received further allegations of research misconduct relating to Professor Latchman, which are currently under consideration under our Procedure for Investigating and Resolving Allegations of Misconduct in Academic Research".

“The process is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage. At UCL we take any allegations of research impropriety very seriously and we have rigorous systems in place to ensure all allegations are investigated thoroughly.”

david.matthews@tesglobal.com

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