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Amid an investigation of alleged research misconduct, Stanford University’s president took responsibility in an email to STAT for the decision not to correct or retract a paper at the heart of the controversy and defended his actions.

That decision concerned a major study published in the journal Nature in 2009 and co-authored by Marc Tessier-Lavigne, the university’s president and a renowned neuroscientist who at the time was a top researcher at the biotech company Genentech.


Some researchers struggled to reproduce certain findings before and after the study was published, and follow-up research by Tessier-Lavigne and others showed that aspects of the paper had been wrong. That has raised concerns among scientists at Stanford and elsewhere about why the study wasn’t corrected or retracted. In an email to STAT on Sunday, Tessier-Lavigne for the first time addressed that issue head-on.

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