Information on a research misconduct matter

March 14, 2023
Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research |

Dear Colleagues,

I write to provide you with an update on a concluded internal, confidential review involving the lab of Professor Ram Sasisekharan.

As you are likely aware, allegations of possible research misconduct in Professor Sasisekharan’s lab appeared in the media due to a perspective that was accepted two days after submission to the journal mAbs and published on May 20, 2019. In late spring of 2019, MIT received an internal complaint raising formal allegations of research misconduct against Professor Sasisekharan concerning the same research discussed in the perspective.

MIT takes all allegations of research misconduct seriously to protect the integrity of research done at the Institute. With the full cooperation of Professor Sasisekharan and others in his lab over three-and-a-half years, pursuant to MIT Policies and Procedures 10.1, MIT undertook its standard three-part review process to determine, using a preponderance of evidence standard, if there was sufficient evidence to find research misconduct. MIT has completed its investigation with no finding of research misconduct for any of the submitted allegations. MIT’s determination has been provided to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), the federal office with oversight of research supported by federal funding. MIT has yet to receive the official closure of the matter by ORI.

Pursuant to both MIT policy and federal regulations to ensure the integrity of the process, such allegations are reviewed through a well-established confidential process, and the results typically are not publicly disclosed.  However, given the very public discourse about these allegations, I believe, and Professor Sasisekharan concurs, that it is necessary to share this information with you to bring closure to this matter, quell any remaining rumors or speculation, and assist in fully restoring the reputations of Professor Sasisekharan and the members of his lab. In addition, we are committed to ensuring that Professor Sasisekharan and his lab can return to normal operation.

As is typical, the Institute will reflect on lessons learned from this process, including ways to strengthen our processes and provide additional support for our faculty as they navigate these challenging, taxing, and complex reviews. We will also continue to monitor closely the proposed changes to the federal regulations governing these types of reviews to see how MIT might influence any changes to those regulations.

Again, I am grateful to Professor Sasisekharan for his cooperation throughout the process, including the difficult commitment to maintain the confidentiality of the review.


Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research