HIV Cure Scandal: Rabbit-Based Cure Research Faked by University Professor to Get Part of $19 Million in Grants
By Ryan Inoyori | December 31, 2013 2:44 PM EST
A professor from Iowa State University who faked an AIDS cure research resigned from his post. The professor admits faking the cure to get part of $19 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health.
Faked HIV/AIDS Cure Research
A professor from Iowa State University's Department of Biomedical Services admitted faking claims of cure research against the disease to get a part of $19 million or €13.8 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr Dong-Pyou Han who won the National Institutes of Health grants to pursue of supposedly AIDS vaccine developed from rabbit blood resigned after admitting falsified cure research, according to Ames Tribune. Dr Han took rabbit blood samples and mixed it with blood from people who were HIV positive.
His research of mixing rabbit blood to HIV-positive patients made it look like the animal blood developed antibodies on its own against the virus, thus successfully fighting HIV.
However, his falsified research revealed that he intentionally spiked samples of rabbit sera with antibodies to provide desired results.
"When we saw these exciting developments, we didn't at the time think there was any problem with contamination. It's difficult to pull this off and it's difficult not to be detected," according to Dr James Bradac who oversees AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health told Ames Tribune, as quoted by Lab Manager.
Dr Han's team members weren't aware of any falsifications on the research that took place and accepted it as a legitimate cure against HIV/AIDS. His research findings were widely reported in laboratory meetings, seven national and international symposia between 2010 and 2012, grant applications and progress reports.
Aftermath of Faked Research
Dr Han agreed to resign from his university post and not to take any government contracts for the next 3 years. The Federal Register also prevented Dr Han to serve as an advisor or consultant to the United States Public Health Service.
"This was rather depressing but time marches on. I'm glad the investigation is over and they determined what happened," Bardac said.
Dr Han's research using an animal is not the first one. There are other researches that include animals such as cats and monkeys which have HIV-related diseases to uncover the mysteries of the virus.
Currently, medical experts have unlocked HIV secret mechanisms on how it infect cells, hide inside for indefinitely, retain host even with antiretroviral drugs in the system and even cause the immune system to kill premature infected cells to further spread infection.
To contact the editor, e-mail: