A scientist from Iowa State University who admitted to lying about the efficacy of a vaccine he helped develop for the AIDS virus has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison, according to new reports. Dong-Pyou Han, 58, recently confessed to altering blood samples to make it seem as though he’d made a huge discovery on the AIDS front, only to be later outed for flagrant scientific fraud.
Besides his prison term, Han will also be forced to pay $7.2 million in fines to the federal government after entering a plea agreement back in February, in which he admitted to two counts of making false statements. Han’s involvement in fraudulent AIDS research began as far back as 2008 when he worked alongside a team at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
According to CBS Cleveland, Han worked under professor Michael Cho at the time, who had been awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop an experimental HIV vaccine. When tests on rabbits failed to show an antibody response, however, Cho and Han decided to spike the rabbit blood samples they were using with human blood to make it appear as though the vaccine worked when it actually didn’t.