Monday, March 21, 2005

University of Vermont Research Professor Pleads Guilty to Filing False Research Grant Applications

Dr. Eric T. Poehlman, a one-time respected researcher at the University of Vermont College of Medicine who published more than 150 scientific papers on menopause and the effects of aging on women, entered a guilty plea to one count of lying to the federal government on a research grant application.  In 2000, a research assistant, Walter DeNino, questioned the research results of Poehlman, triggering an investigation that determined that Poehlman made up data in at least five research studies.  One of his research subjects said, "He was a lovely man, very pleasant to us.  Why would he do something like that?  Maybe he got tired of dealing with us old people."  In addition to the criminal plea, Poehlman also agreed to repay $180,000 in a civil fraud settlement, and to pay DeNino $16,000 for his attorney's fees incurred when Poehlman denied the claim that he falsified data.  An article in the Burlington Free Press (here) discusses the case. (ph)

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