Stanford University president to resign over concerns about his research

The president of Stanford University said Wednesday he would resign, citing an independent review that cleared him of research misconduct but found flaws in other papers authored by his lab.

Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement to students and staff that he would step down August 31.

The resignation comes after the board of trustee’s launched a review in December following allegations he engaged in fraud and other unethical conduct related to his research and papers.

He says he "never submitted a scientific paper without firmly believing that the data were correct and accurately presented." But he says he should have been more diligent in seeking corrections regarding his work.

The review assessed 12 papers that Tessier-Lavigne worked on, and he is the principal author on five of them. He said he was aware of issues with four of the five papers but acknowledged taking "insufficient" steps to deal with the issues.

He said he’ll retract three of the papers and correct two.

Tessier-Lavigne says he’s stepping down because he expects continued debate about his ability to lead the university. He will remain on faculty as a biology professor.

Tessier-Lavigne also said he will continue his research into brain development and neurodegeneration.

He has been president for nearly seven years.


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