by Biotech Express News Bureau
Jayita Barua has accused assistant professor Anindita Ukil and her laboratory colleagues of fabricating data to generate scientific papers intended for submission to research journals and claimed she had also been part of “this game”.
Barua had sent an email to the Journal of Biological Chemistry on April 12, seeking withdrawal of her name as co-author of the paper, claiming it contained fabricated data, and attaching raw data to back her claim. She also alleged in the email that her colleagues, responding to a request from the JBC’s art editor, had used pencil marks to cover up the data fraud.
In her Facebook post, Barua claimed she was uncomfortable with the work culture in the laboratory but “compromised”.
Ukil, an award-winning cell biologist who has received grants from the department of science and technology, department of biotechnology and the University Grants Commission for research on infectious diseases, has denied data fabrication or scientific misconduct.
The concerns raised by Barua, also expressed in an April 19 post on her Facebook page, have resonated with sections of scientists and scholars who have hailed her decision to expose what one senior scientist has described as “academic corruption.”
CU vice-chancellor Sonali Chakarvarti Banerjee said a two-member committee had been set up to probe the allegation of data fraud. The dean of science, Madhusudan Das, and pro vice-chancellor, academic, Dipak Kar, are the members.
The JBC on April 16 wrote to Ukil and other co-authors that it had decided to decline the paper.
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