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Academics who raised concerns about research misconduct are threatened with lawsuit

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3100 (Published 12 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3100
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

Two academics at Liverpool University, UK, who made a series of complaints about alleged research misconduct at University College London (UCL) have been threatened with a lawsuit by a spin-off company seeking to commercialise the research.

The dispute arose after Patricia Murray, professor of cellular and molecular physiology at Liverpool, and colleague Raphael Lévy, a senior lecturer at the university, raised questions over research into transplanted tracheas seeded with the patient’s own stem cells, which have been used in a number of operations.

The academics claimed that studies at UCL led by Martin Birchall had not supplied safety and efficacy data adequate to support a trial of the technique and that they had provided false information to an ethics committee to obtain approval for the trial.

UCL agreed to consider the complaints under its research misconduct procedure …

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