Singapore

A*Star scientist sacked, PhD revoked

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) revoked the doctorate of a former Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) scientist in March after she admitted she had falsified data in her research and doctoral thesis.

Ms Sabeera Bonala, who received her PhD at NTU in 2013, was investigated for academic malpractice with other researchers in one of the biggest cases of scientific fraud in Singapore.

Ms Bonala, whose age is unknown, also had her employment at A*Star's Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS) terminated in August last year after NTU's investigation.

The withdrawal of her qualification was reported on Tuesday in Retraction Watch, a website that monitors retractions of scientific publications and which first revealed the academic scandal in July last year.

Six research papers were retracted, including three that had listed Ms Bonala as first author.

As an immediate result of the fraud, NTU professor Ravi Kambadur was sacked from both his post at the university and his role as senior principal investigator at SICS.

Dr Mridula Sharma, who was associate professor at the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, also left her job.

Former NTU researcher Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy also had his PhD revoked by NTU. Mr Lokireddy, who previously held a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School's department of cell biology, has also left Harvard.

In consultation with A*Star and NUS, NTU took the lead in a wide-ranging investigation conducted by a committee of inquiry. In total, 23 authors were involved in the six retracted papers, but these were the four who were punished.

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FraudscienceNanyang Technological University