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Resignation tied to misconduct probe.

Five months into his tenure as president of Rockefeller University in New York City, Nobel laureate David Baltimore announced his resignation from that post effective Dec. 31. Baltimore, formerly the director of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., cited the long-running controversy over a scientific paper he coauthored, which appeared in the April 25, 1986 Cell. The paper subsequently became the focus of investigations by a House subcommittee and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"The reason I have decided to take this step is that the Cell paper controversy created a climate of unhappiness among some in the University that could not be dispelled," he said in his Dec. 2 resignation letter. "When I accepted the position of President of this institution, I did not anticipate that this matter would become such an extended personal travail for everyone involved."

Though never charged with any wrongdoing himself, Baltimore drew some sharp criticism for his conduct during the investigations. Last May, he expressed regret for his aggressive defense of Thereza Imanishi-Kari, a coauthor on the 1986 Cell paper, which described a surprising immune reaction in mice (SN: 5/11/91, p. 294). An NIH draft report spurred Baltimore's change of heart. It concluded that certain key data underpinning the paper appeared fraudulent. The questionable data appear in the laboratory notebooks of Imanashi-Kari, an immunologist who conducted many of the experiments detailed in the Cell paper when she worked at MIT.
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Title Annotation:David Baltimore
Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 14, 1991
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