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Former Researcher Guilty

A former research assistant professor has been found guilty of attempted second-degree murder and other charges, Retraction Watch reports.

Hengjun Chao, the former researcher, injured Dennis Charney, a dean at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, when he shot him as he left a deli in suburban New York last year. Chao admitted to police that he shot Charney.

At the time, police suspected the shooting was an act of revenge as Chao had been fired by Mount Sinai for research misconduct and lost his appeal of his termination. The school investigation found that Chao had directed a postdoc to alter data without any scientific or statistical reason to do so.

Retraction Watch notes that Chao had accused others of research misconduct and that the Journal News had reported that Chao's attorney argued during the trial that Chao had shot at Charney for publicity as he hoped to bring what he called "large-scale fraud" at the medical school to light.

Chao's attorney, Stewart Oden, tells Retraction Watch that he thinks there are "extremely strong grounds for an appeal in this case.

(Note: Retraction Watch writer Andrew Han is a former GenomeWeb staffer.)

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