(NewsNation) — Years of crucial research into Alzheimer’s disease may have been tainted by made-up scientific findings, a new whistleblower report says.
Vanderbilt University neurologist Matthew Schrag, in a bombshell interview with Science, laid out findings he made that showed over a decade of industrywide Alzheimer’s research may have been based on fabricated pieces of evidence involving a plaque protein found in the brain.
Shrag alerted his findings to the National Institute of Health and the Food and Drug Administration but also went public in the media with findings he believes will have a big impact on Alzheimer’s research, a branch of science that gets millions of dollars in funding every year.
“You can cheat to get a paper. You can cheat to get a degree. You can cheat to get a grant. You can’t cheat to cure a disease,” Shrag told Science. “Biology doesn’t care.”
Shrag’s findings indicate that Alzheimer’s research conducted by University of Minnesota professors Slyvain Lesne and Karen Ashe may have used images of proteins that were altered to look like something they were not.
A Harvard University researcher who reviewed Shrag’s findings said there was “no other explanation” to contradict that manipulation had occurred in the research, according to Science.
A spokesperson from the University of Minnesota confirmed to NewsNation it is aware of the skepticism surrounding Lesne’s research and said “the university will follow its processes to review the questions any claims have raised.”
NewsNation was told neither Lesne nor Ashe would be available for an interview. Both are still employed by the school.