Research director (who helped approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine) was recently outed for fabricating data to obtain NIH grants
08/11/2022 // Lance D Johnson // Views

A research director from Texas was recently exposed for fabricating published research data to obtain NIH grants. Deepak Kaushal, director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center at Texas Biomedical Research Institute, recently admitted to falsifying the number of treated and untreated primates in a 2020 study. However, he remained the director of Texas Biomed and ultimately oversaw the testing site that helped get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines past the animal testing phase.

Research director confesses to multiple counts of research fraud

The incident at Texas Biomedical was not Kaushal’s first infraction. He also manipulated specific details in a tuberculosis treatment study published by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. The publisher had to retract the study because Kaushal manipulated the number of weekly doses that were administered as treatment for mycobacterium tuberculosis. In the retraction, the publishers said Kaushal "did not conform to a national protocol" but the publisher went with his conclusions anyway, stating, "the article's conclusions may [still] be correct." The research misconduct was originally exposed by an anonymous complaint sent to the publishers.

Kaushal also fabricated data in two grant applications with the NIH, one filed in 2019 and the other in 2020. In the two grant applications, Kaushal claims to be affiliated with the Texas Primate Research Center and the Tulane Louisiana National Primate Research Center. Both institutions are still listed on the biography page of Kaushal's website.


Kaushal also oversaw the animal testing site that was used to push Pfizer’s COVID-19 jab into clinical trials. His record of fraud should call into question what actually happened during those animal trials. Previous animal trials for coronavirus vaccines had caused pulmonary immunopathologies that killed the test animals. Kaushal's warp speed study concluded that Pfizer’s covid-19 vaccine protects macaques against the virus that causes covid-19. It was later published by Nature in 2021, but the results should be questioned.

Serial fraudster continues to conduct research and won’t be investigated for potential vaccine fraud

It turns out that Kaushal had to be disciplined at Texas Biomed because the president Dr. Larry Schlesinger said he was given "minimal consequences” for falsifying data. "Dr. Kaushal suffered internal consequences including significant oversight of his laboratory," Schlesinger was quoted as saying. "Texas Biomed is confident that this will not happen again and that Dr. Kaushal can continue to lead the Southwest National Primate Research Center with competence and integrity."

Other researcher in the same field disagreed. Ronald Desrosiers, director of the New England Primate Research Center, said Kaushal's employers should not keep him because his fraudulent work tarnished the industry's reputation -- not to mention a waste of taxpayer money. "Any scientist who intentionally and deliberately falsifies data for scientific publishing and/or receiving government funding should not be allowed to lead a research organization," De Rossiers told Science.

The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Research Integrity recently conducted an audit of Kaushal’s work and discovered widespread malfeasance. However, he has not been fired or investigated for fraud that may have taken place during the animal trials that preceded covid-19 vaccine clinical trials. The clinical trials depended on diagnostic fraud, did not measure real-world vaccine effectiveness or consider absolute risk reduction. These trials also ignored safety signals that suggested a higher rate of symptomatic illness for the vaccinated. What other fraud might have occurred in the animal testing phase?

The Office of Research Integrity is conducting a full year of oversight of Kaushal’ research starting on July 22. Part of the agreement requires Texas Biomed's board of senior faculty to oversee and guide Kaushal's work and to comprehensively review every application for government funding he submits.

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