UK: Professors, staff member responsible for research misconduct

Xianglin Shi, Zhuo Zhang, Donghern Kim

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The University of Kentucky is alleging “significant research misconduct” by two professors and a staff research scientist.

According to the university, it reached that conclusion following an internal investigation.

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As a result, the university says if professors Xianglin Shi and Zhuo Zhang in the Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology in the College of Medicine do not agree to resign, their employment with the university will be terminated.

Donghern Kim, a staff research scientist who worked in Zhang’s lab, has already been fired, according to the university.

The university says the faculty labs where the three worked were shut down Thursday, leading to the elimination of five staff positions. The three are not allowed access to equipment and are not permitted to contact members of the university community or come on campus except for medical care.

The university says it was alerted of the potential misconduct from a source outside the university, leading to a yearlong internal investigation that demonstrated several examples of falsified or fabricated data that were among numerous irregularities in seven grant proposals and at least 13 scholarly papers sampled from their work.

UK says it will work with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the labs in question to minimize disruption to their academics.