ORI Finding of Research Misconduct: Bryan Doreian

February 12, 2013

The NOT-OD-13-039 was just published, detailing the many data faking offenses of one Bryan Doreian. There are 7 falsifications listed which include a number of different techniques but mostly involve falsely describing the number of samples/repetitions that were performed (4 charges) and altering the numeric values obtained to reach a desired result (3 charges). The scientific works affected included:

Doreian, B.W. “Molecular Regulation of the Exocytic Mode in Adrenal Chromaffin Cells.’ Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, August 2009; hereafter referred to as the “Dissertation.’

Doreian, B.W., Fulop, T.G., Meklemburg, R.L., Smith, C.B. “Cortical F-actin, the exocytic mode, and neuropeptide release in mouse chromaffin cells is regulated by myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate and myosin II.’ Mol Biol Cell. 20(13):3142-54, 2009 Jul; hereafter referred to as the “Mol Biol Cell paper.’

Doreian, B.W., Rosenjack, J., Galle, P.S., Hansen, M.B., Cathcart, M.K., Silverstein, R.L., McCormick, T.S., Cooper, K.D., Lu, K.Q. “Hyper-inflammation and tissue destruction mediated by PPAR-γ activation of macrophages in IL-6 deficiency.’ Manuscript prepared for submission to Nature Medicine; hereafter referred to as the “Nature Medicine manuscript.’

The ORI notice indicates that Doreian will request that the paper be retracted.

There were a couple of interesting points about this case. First, that Doreian has been found to have falsified information in his dissertation, i.e., that body of work that makes up the major justification for awarding him a PhD. From the charge list, it appears that the first 4 items were both included in the Mol Bio Cell paper and in his Dissertation. I will be very interested to see if Case Western Reserve University decides to revoke his doctorate. I tend to think that this is the right thing to do. If it were my Department this kind of thing would make me highly motivated to seek a revocation.

Second, this dissertation was apparently given an award by the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine:

The Doctoral Excellence Award in Biomedical Sciences is established to recognize exceptional research and scholarship in PhD programs at the School of Medicine. Nominees’ work should represent highly original work that is an unusually significant contribution to the field. A maximum of one student per PhD program will be selected, but a program might not have a student selected in a particular year. The Graduate Program Directors chosen by the Office of Graduate Education will review the nominations and select recipients of each Award.

Open to graduating PhD students in Biochemistry, Bioethics, Biomedical Engineering, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Genetics, Molecular Medicine, Neurosciences, Nutrition, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology and Biophysics, and Systems Bio and Bioinformatics.

This sidebar indicates the 2010 winners are:

Biochemistry: Matthew Lalonde
Biomedical Engineering: Jeffrey Beamish
Epidemiology and Biostatistics: Johnie Rose
Neurosciences: Phillip Larimer
Nutrition: Charlie Huang
Pathology: Joshua Rosenblum
Pharmacology: Philip Kiser
Physiology and Biophysics: Bryan Doreian

Now obviously with such an award it is not a given that Mr. Doreian’s data faking prevented another deserving individual from gaining this recognition and CV item. It may be that there were no suitable alternatives from his Department that year, certainly it did not get one in 2011. It may also be the case that his apparent excellence had no impact on the selection of other folks from other Departments…or maybe he did set a certain level that prevented other folks from gaining an award that year. Hard to say. This is unlike the zero sum nature of the NIH Grant game in which it is overwhelmingly the case that if a faker gets an award, this prevents another award being made to the next grant on the list.)

But still, this has the potential for the same problem with only discovering the fakes post-hoc. The damage to the honest scientist has already been done. There is another doctoral student who suffered at the hands of this fellow’s cheating. This is even before we get to the more amorphous effect of “raising the bar” for student performance in the department.

Now fear not, it does appear that this scientific fraudster has left science.

Interestingly he appears to be engaging in a little bit of that Web presence massaging that we discussed in the case of alcohol research fraudster Michael Miller, Ph.D., last of SUNY Upstate. This new data faking fraudster Bryan Doreian, has set up a “brandyourself” page.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to help anyone improve their own search results and online reputation.

Why should Mr. Doreian needs such a thing? Because he’s pursuing a new career in tutoring for patent bar exams. Hilariously it has this tagline:

My name is Bryan and I am responsible for the operations, management and oversight of all projects here at WYSEBRIDGE. Apart from that some people say I am pretty good at data analysis and organization.

This echos something on the “brandyourself” page:

Bryan has spent years in bio- and medical- research, sharpening his knack for data analysis and analytical abilities while obtaining a PhD in Biophysics.

Well, the NIH ORI “says” that he is pretty good at, and/or has sharpened his knack for, faking data analysis. So I wonder who those “some people” might be at this point? His parents?

His “About” page also says:

Doctoral Studies

In 2005, I moved to Cleveland, OH to begin my doctoral studies in Cellular and Molecular Biophysics. As typical for a doctoral student, many hours were spent studying, investigating, pondering, researching, the outer fringes of information in order to attempt to make sense of what was being observed. 5 years later, I moved further on into medical research. After 2+ years and the conclusion of that phase of research, I turned my sights onto the Patent Bar Exam.

At this point you probably just want to take this down my friend. A little free advice. You don’t want people coming to your new business looking into the sordid history of your scientific career as a fraudster, do you?

37 Responses to “ORI Finding of Research Misconduct: Bryan Doreian”

  1. Microfool Says:

    From the sidebar popover on the award page:

    . His advisor said because of Bryan’s innovative studies, their colleagues nationally said while they first “didn’t know what to make of our data…it just makes sense now.”

    Or does it?


  2. drugmonkey Says:



  3. me Says:

    ummmmm…..so how do we make this the #1 bryan doreian hit on google?!


  4. me Says:

    this post*


  5. drugmonkey Says:

    You can’t. Look, dudes who have a selfish interest in rehabilitating their web presence are going to pull out the stops and sustain the effort. is it worth stalking their assses forever? continuing to SEO your rebuttal to their attempts at fixing their Google problem?

    hell no….

    So yeah, you can make a blog post turn up on the first page of searches for awhile but it will eventually fade. say, I wonder how Michael Miller’s strategy is coming along…



    What, are you saying there is nothing that can be done to expose frauds like this fool? How many more people are going to caught up in his web of lies? Has anyone been harmed by his research? How much honest scientific research has been delayed or stopped due to the fraud? Has yet to he pay his dues to society, like a criminal?


  7. Ola Says:

    I don’t use the word very often, but this guy both looks like and has acted like a cunt.

    My guess would be CWRU will rescind the PhD, at which point their lawyers will issue cease and desist letters regarding his claim to have a PhD from Case. Then he’ll end up with a gap in his CV for 5 years, and fade into obscurity.


  8. physioprof Says:

    Created and founded the Wysebridge Company during the process of studying for the Patent Bar Exam in 2012.

    My guess is that he never took the exam, because it became obvious to him that even if he passed the written test, he’d never pass the character and fitness inquiry required to actually become registered to practice before the USPTO.


  9. drugmonkey Says:

    well in that case I suppose running a test tutor service is more or less about right. I mean, I don’t think they guy shouldn’t be able to make a living or anything. Just not in science is all. and not anything that leverages his ill-gotten nonPhD….


  10. physioprof Says:

    You can go to the USPTO registered attorney/agent public database, and he is not in there. And if he had taken the exam and passed, he would definitely be touting that on his bar prep Web site!


  11. drugmonkey Says:

    What, are you saying there is nothing that can be done to expose frauds like this fool?

    Well the ORI finding is pretty much him being exposed. His deeds are out there and have been ruled intentionally fradulent.

    How many more people are going to caught up in his web of lies? Has anyone been harmed by his research?

    It depends on how long it takes for the paper to be retracted but the systems for identifying fraudulent papers are getting better all the time.

    How much honest scientific research has been delayed or stopped due to the fraud?

    That’s an unknown. I suppose it depends on how influential the paper was and how many people had to chase blind alleys due to the specific frauds he committed. Looks like it has been cited 14 times according to ISI.

    Has yet to he pay his dues to society, like a criminal?

    The fate of ORI-Noted fraudsters after the finding is a bit opaque, usually. It seems vaguely as though in recent years we’ve been seeing attempts by the DOJ to sue to try to get the money back from some of these folks. Of course it is usually grants and the amounts are so large and the people’s chances of making that kind of money so poor that I dunno if it is every actually realized as a payed judgment.




    Am I correct in understanding that your post is saying “Dr” Doreian has no report showing he took or passed the Patent Bar Exam? Yet his company, Wysebridge, is in business to provide tutoring to pass the Patient Bar Exam ? I hope he doesn’t start a how to pass your pilots license company!


  13. amy kelley Says:

    As research scientist, I find it outrageous that funding that could have been used for projects that would have truly benefited society has been thrown away for the self- aggrandizement of this repulsive egomaniac. This guy just kept it up – not once, not twice, but for years! I’d like to know what kind of relationship he had with his “academic advisors” that this was allowed or, at best, not caught on review. And he’s still touting his academic record all over the internet! The best way for the NIH and other funders to stop this type of fraud is to refuse further funding to Case Western Reserve University if they don’t rescind this idiot’s degree. How exactly is requiring any institution for whom he conducts research in the future to “supervise” him a sanction – when he clearly has no intention of working in the field in the future? He achieved everything he set out to do. He has his degree and will use it no doubt to perpetrate further fraud because he has learned he can. I suppose we should just be happy he did such a piss poor job of cheating that the ORI was able to nail him. Pretty sad – can’t even cheat successfully!


  14. physioprof Says:

    He is definitely not a registered patent agent. He may have taken the patent bar exam, but his Web site never claims that he did. He may have passed the patent bar exam, but his Web site never claims that, either. Since passing the patent bar exam would be a marketable qualification for the leader of a patent bar exam prep course to possess, one can reasonably infer that, had he passed the exam, he would have asserted such on his Web site.


  15. dsks Says:

    Case Western should absolutely revoke his PhD, the issue shouldn’t need any more than thirty seconds of deliberation. After that, it really doesn’t matter what he does to his web presence, he just blew away 5 years of his life through a senseless error of judgment.

    Interestingly, judging by his flamboyant web presence, image seems to be foremost in his mind and that is probably the root of his problem.


  16. Dave Says:

    Something is not adding up with this notice.

    I mean they say that he inflated the n in some of the figures, but if you look at Fig 2 of the paper, for example, the magnitude of the effect is pretty huge (5x) so is it a case of he had an n = 5 but just said it was n = 12? I don’t really understand it.


    My guess is that he completely made up some of this data, but they cannot prove that per se.


  17. amy kelley Says:

    Just found this on google – at least it appears Case Western is suing this little snot for something.

    Interesting that snakes often hide in plain sight – look at the list of awards this guy raked in! It’s always the flamboyant ones you have to watch out for in my experience.


  18. neuromusic Says:

    “Nominees’ work should represent highly original work that is an unusually significant contribution to the field.”
    Sounds to me like he still deserves the award 🙂


  19. Beaker Says:

    This photo appears to have been taken when he got recruited to his lab at Case. The caption reads, “a very nice guy. I’m glad the department got him.”


  20. zb Says:

    How was this fraud discovered? I was wondering on a variant of Dave’s comment, too.: how does one discover an error of the report of n in an average graph?

    Did someone in his lab look for the data and not find it?. Is the finding actually wrong.

    Reading the order shows how minor the penalties are. I’m not even sure the penalties would be a bar to joining the patent bar, 5 years down the road. I guess he settled, but still the penalties for even egregious fraud seem minor (especially if you don’t consider being driven out of science a major penalty — that happens to lots of people who didn’t’t do anything wrong at all). And, the chances of getting caught don’t seem high, either.


  21. zb Says:

    Can’t help noting that every 2010 winner is male. That makes me wonder, too.


  22. physioprof Says:

    I’m not even sure the penalties would be a bar to joining the patent bar, 5 years down the road.

    I’m pretty sure that committing scientific fraud would be seen by the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline as precluding registration, in light of this rule:

    All individuals seeking registration must meet the requirements of 37 CFR §11.7, including the possession of legal, scientific and technical qualifications, and good moral character and reputation. [emphasis added]

    Patent practitioners have a relatively complex set of rules of disclosure and honest dealing with the USPTO that they must abide by. A conviction for scientific misconduct that involves fabrication of data would seem to be right in the heart of the kinds of offenses that would preclude registration.


  23. DJMH Says:

    I wonder how long ORI takes to process these cases?

    I also wonder what CWRU’s standing is for a lawsuit. Can they really try to claw back his stipend? It’s not like he actually broke a written contract, right?


  24. Ola Says:

    @xb, you’d be amazed. It often is as simple as submitting a PowerPoint to a journal, where the raw data have been pasted directly from another program (excel, prism, spss). Right clicking and re-extracting the data can reveal all sorts of unpleasant things. Let’s just say if you’re a professional fraudster, you PDF everything. It’s a matter of time before the plebs figure that out.


  25. zb Says:

    “I’m pretty sure that committing scientific fraud would be seen by the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline as precluding registration. . . . ”

    Maybe, but, not necessarily (for example, even felons can have a chance, if they provide proof of reform and rehabilitation; I don’t know how frequently this exception actually works, but for the bar, the decision is often up to discretion). Nothing in this order prevents him from going to law school, becoming a member of the bar, being registered at the USPTO, . . . . Those organizations might limit his access, but they don’t have to.

    The actual penalties are : 1) To have his research supervised and 2) That any institution employing him shall submit . . . a certification to ORI that the data provided by Respondent are based on actual experiments 3) To exclude himself voluntary from serving in any advisory capacity for PHS funding

    So, he could still serve on an NSF study section.

    In practice, since he’s not employed anywhere, these penalties will almost certainly (but again, not necessarily) prevent him from being employed with PHS funds. But given that lots of people find themselves out of employment with federal funding because someone didn’t get a grant renewed, it’s not a very big penalty. Clearly, ORI does not have very big sticks or teeth.


  26. Ola Says:

    Thread-jack… Is it my imagination, or is Marco Rubio delivering the republican rebuttal to the State of the Union Address, coked up? Lots of sweating, touching temples and chin, the odd bottled water drink half way through. Freaky!


  27. DrugMonkey Says:

    You overlook the fact that other entities have their own interests wrt fraudsters, as noted by PP for the Patent Office. It seems likely the NSF wouldn’t be interested in scientific fraudsters.


  28. Grumble Says:

    “It’s always the flamboyant ones you have to watch out for in my experience.”

    Ain’t that the truth. I think I should explicitly state on my CV that my lack of awards is an accomplishment.

    Meanwhile, isn’t it funny that a certain Jonah Lehrer is getting paid big bucks for his own brand of misconduct. Flamboyance + malfeasance = remuneration.


  29. dsks Says:

    “Meanwhile, isn’t it funny that a certain Jonah Lehrer is getting paid big bucks for his own brand of misconduct. Flamboyance + malfeasance = remuneration.”

    The equation is more along the lines of

    Flamboyance + malfeasance + I-done-wrong-but-now-I-seen-the-light-and-can-help-you-on-the-path-of-righteousness-my-fellow-sinner! = remuneration


  30. me Says:

    at least this post currently hits higher on google than any of his pages!!….


  31. amy kelley Says:

    well, here are the funders of his fraudulent data according to the federal register:

    “research supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant T32 HL07887 and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), NIH, grant R01 NS052123.”

    anyone besides me have a family member suffering from any of these illnesses? how do you like knowing these funds could have been used to actually treat/cure your loved ones? does this guy have a heart at all? answer: yes, for himself above everyone else.


  32. Phyllis Says:

    When the good DR. with drawls his fake research, while he still be a DR?


  33. Balbo Says:

    This dude is a supreme schemer. He had so many people fooled. I didn’t like him at first, but he fooled me in the end. He needs help and honesty.


  34. Lemmy Says:

    Yeah, I’m with Balbo. I was fooled by this guy and it stinks. Just a sociopath who has no concern for those he hurts…


  35. Phyllis Says:

    Sociopath may be too mild a term to call the DR. Really, how is he still able to con people with all the information about his fraud becoming public knowledge?


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