Former VA postdoc committed misconduct, banned from agency research for four years

A former postdoc at the U.S. VA Health Care System in Albuquerque, N.M., committed misconduct in three papers, the agency announced today.

Alba Chavez-Dozal, who studied the basic science underpinnings of infectious diseases, had three papers retracted between 2015 and 2016. In findings dated July 18, 2018, but released today, the VA said that Chavez-Dozal, “a post-doctoral research fellow who formerly held a VA without compensation appointment, engaged in research misconduct by intentionally and/or knowingly:”

  • fabricating data to present at two lab meetings
  • fabricating a photo of a Southern blot and falsifying other results “by using microscopy images that represent different conditions than those reported” in a now-retracted 2015 paper
  • falsifying results “by using the same protein gel to represent two different experiments” and “by using images that represent different conditions than those reported” in another now-retracted 2015 paper
  • republishing falsified data from both papers in a now-retracted 2016 review article

The VA has banned Chavez-Doval from research at the agency for four years. We were unable to find contact information for her.