Stanford President Resigns Months After Student Newspaper’s Findings of Research Fraud

The school’s special committee concluded that Marc Tessier-Lavigne was involved in research that featured scientific data manipulation 

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Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne says he will resign from his position after a report released by a special university panel concluding that papers he contributed to included the “manipulation of research data.”

In an open letter to the school, Tessier-Lavigne announced his resignation “For the good of the University,” which will be effective on August 31. However, Tessier-Lavigne will remain on the Stanford faculty after he steps down as president.

After The Stanford Daily raised concerns, the university launched an investigation into its research practices in late November.

Tessier-Lavigne, a neuroscientist, contributed to scientific papers that the committee found included manipulation according to the report. The panel, however, found no evidence that Tessier-Lavigne himself had engaged in or was aware of research misconduct within his lab. 

The panel of scientists reviewed 12 papers, five of which Tessier-Lavigne is a principal author. The neuroscientist said that he intends to retract three of the papers and correct the other two.

According to the special committee’s report, the papers in question had “serious flaws in the presentation of research data,” and “apparent manipulation,” of data by additional contributors.

“The Panel’s report identified some areas where I should have done better, and I accept the report’s conclusion,” said Tessier-Lavigne in his resignation letter.

Tessier-Lavigne continued, “Although I was unaware of these issues, I want to be clear that I take responsibility for the work of my lab members.”