Cardiff University dean of medicine cleared of research misconduct

Prof Paul Morgan
Image caption Prof Paul Morgan said he is looking forward to getting on with his research work

The dean of Cardiff University's school of medicine has been cleared of research misconduct after claims images were manipulated in academic articles.

Professor Paul Morgan and other members of his research group were cleared by a formal investigation panel.

But four allegations of image manipulation in articles were upheld against a former staff member.

Prof Morgan, who researches diseases, said the actions of one individual had a "profound effect" on his reputation.

A clinical academic, the professor heads a team which Cardiff University's website said is "internationally recognised for its expertise and contribution to the field of complement biology".

He remained in his post during the investigation by the panel, which was chaired by a former Cardiff circuit judge.

"Throughout this episode, I have maintained my innocence, and that of my research team, in the face of allegations of research misconduct," he said.

"I am pleased that the independent panel has rejected all allegations against me and concluded that there was no case to answer.

"The episode has been extremely upsetting, not only for me personally, but also for friends, family, colleagues - and particularly, my research team."

Prof Morgan said he believed the allegations needed investigation "to ensure the highest academic standards are maintained".

"The university has examined more than 40 published articles in relation to my research group and no additional findings of academic misconduct were made.

"However it is a matter of deep regret that the actions of one individual has had such a profound effect on the academic reputations of my colleagues and myself."

He added that after eight difficult months he was now looking on focusing his energies on undertaking research that will help with the treatment of human diseases.

The inquiry rejected all allegations against Prof Morgan and members of his research team, but upheld four allegations of misconduct against the former university employee.

The panel also said that Prof Morgan - the co-author of the four articles in question - would not have been aware that the individual had included manipulated images in the articles.

Cardiff University said it took allegations of academic research misconduct against staff extremely seriously.

"The panel did find that allegations of data manipulation against a former member of university staff were substantiated and recommends that protocols are put in place to ensure that data and original image files are in future viewed and assessed prior to submission for publication," a spokesperson said.

"Cardiff University accepts these findings and recommendations and will now take action to put in place procedures to ensure that incidents of this sort do not recur."

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