NUST(NCVI) researcher's plagiarism

NUST (NCVI) Researchers Plagiarized and Faked a Blood Cancer(Leukemia) study!
Islamabad, Feb 18: This is a report of serious scientific and ethical misconduct by Dr. Ishtiaq Qadri, an HEC foreign professor from the University of Colorado, Denver USA (Now at QAU!), and a multigrant holder under the Pak-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program.

Dr. Ishtiaq Qadri together with his PhD student/wife Ms. Kaneez Fatima (My former MPhil student), has plagiarized my research project carried out earlier at the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), University of the Punjab, Lahore in 2005, by unlawfully copying and publishing it from the NUST Centre for Virology and Immunology (NCVI), National University of Science and Technology (NUST), where Dr. Qadri worked as foreign professor & director until September 2011.

The paper was published in December 10, 2011 issue of the journal -Molecular Biology Reports- under the title "Post-transcriptional silencing of Notch2 mRNA in chronic lymphocytic leukemic cells of B-CLL patients" with 3 NUST researchers, Ishtiaq Qadri, Kaneez Fatima and Rehan Paracha, as its authors.

The concepts, methods and data presented in this article have been copied and even faked, in its entirety from Ms. Fatima's MPhil (Master of Philosophy) thesis work, "Therapeutic Silencing of Notch2 gene expression by RNA Interference in B- Cell Chronic Leukemia", that I had assigned to her for an MPhil research project and which she had completed under my direction and supervision during 2005 at CEMB, Lahore. Her work was part of a larger project, "The Development of RNA Interfering Therapeutics for Gene Silencing in Hyperproliferative Disorders", funded by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on which multiple students were working at that time in my lab.

At the time when Ms. Fatima's MPhil thesis was published (under my direction and supervision) in 2005 from Punjab University, Ishtiaq Qadri was at the University of Colorado, USA, contemplating on coming to Pakistan as Foreign Faculty while Mr. Paracha was still a Pharmacy student at Bahaud Din Zakariya University, Multan. Ishtiaq Qadri and Paracha never contributed anything in any capacity to this project in 2005 or later.

I had presented this work in October 2009 as a keynote lecture at the Medical research society proceedings held at the University of Health Sciences, Lahore. The meeting was also attended by Dr. Ishtiaq Qadri!

It astounds and disgusts me to realize now that Dr. Ishtiaq Qadri, a foreign professor from University of Colorado, Denver, USA and director of NCVI at NUST, with all the sophisticated equipment at his disposal, resorted to stealing, manipulating and even faking data from an MPhil thesis, just to publish a paper in therapeutic gene silencing research, a field in which Dr. Qadri has no expertise!

Importantly, the vendor whom the authors have purchased their chemical reagents mentioned in the paper have confirmed that NUST researchers never bought these chemicals from them and that I was the only person who had purchased these reagents from them in 2005. Moreover, the INMOL hospital Lahore, mentioned as the source of Leukemia patients for the study, never collaborated with Dr. Ishtiaq Qadri. In fact, that collaboration was directed by myself in 2005.

Ms. Kaneez Fatima came to my lab at the Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan in Feb. 2005, as an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) research scholar after completing 2 semesters of course work. She had no prior skills or understanding of the technicques used in this project or publication. I had to teach all these basic concepts and skills to her and her fellow MPhil colleagues in order to enable them to conduct gene silencing research on which I had over 10 years of experience and had received a research grant (Development of RNA Interfering Therapeutics for the Treatment of Hyperproliferative Disorders) from HEC.

Ms. Fatima struggled in the lab due to her non-serious attitude that often got her in trouble. Following the completion of her MPhil at CEMB under my supervision, Ms. Fatima tried to register herself as PhD student in my lab, however, her lax attitude towards research led me to refuse her admission requests in 2006. Her numerous tries to obtain a foreign PhD studentship also ended in failure.

Six months later, in Nov. 2006, Ms. Fatima attached herself to the newly arrived, Foreign Professor Dr. Ishtiaq Qadri from University of Colorado, USA, as his PhD student to work on Hepatitis C related project.

Following Dr. Qadri's ouster (due to his unethical activities!) from CEMB in early 2007, Ms. Fatima moved with him to the NUST Centre for Virology and Immunology (NCVI) at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Islamabad, to work on Dr. Qadri's HCV research project (funded by Pak-US money). Ms. Kaneez Fatima married Dr. Qadri in Dec. 2007 for reasons that had obvious implications on her career, personal life, as well as her fast tracked bid for an easy PhD and for the coveted US citizenship!

Dr. Qadri, now the Director General of NCVI, appointed Ms. Fatima - his wife and graduate student - as a lecturer and in-charge of the Virology research section at NCVI during 2007-2011, violating her PhD scholarship terms that prevented her from holding any full time jobs. Ms. Fatima accompanied Dr. Qadri on his foreign trips as his "star Student" and "visiting scientist" while they were honeymooning and nursing their baby at the expense of Government funds!.

Since 2010, Ms. Fatima's name has appeared on nearly 80% (10 out of 13) of Dr. Qadri's research publications, including 2 patent applications, from NUST. These patents are also bogus as these products are already being commercialized for the HCV3a genotype while the "Pakistani strain" they have claimed for the patent, was never theirs to begin with!

Dr. Qadri and Kaneez Fatima were dismissed from NUST on serious charges of ethical, scientific and financial misconduct, however, the QAU and HEC administration quietly moved them to the faculty of Biological Sciences (Microbiology), so they could continue their campaign of corrupting this Nation's young scientists at its top ranked institutions!.....

Such is their legacy of lust and power. A truly disgraceful and deplorable example of Academic Leadership...................

Ishrat Waheed Details
Ishrat Waheed, MPhil, PhD, PDCS,
HEC Foreign Prof./Head
Pharmacology & Therapeutics,
Riphah Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Riphah International University,
Islamabad, Pakistan

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