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Letter in Response to Completed Process Review of Muscle Recovery Study

April 1, 2016
Contacts: 

University Communications, mediainfo@umd.edu

The following letter was delivered to University of Maryland leadership from Patrick O’Shea, UMD Vice President and Chief Research Officer.

Dear University of Maryland community,

In January, an ad-hoc committee was assembled, with the support of President Wallace Loh and Provost Mary Ann Rankin, to conduct an institutional review of the processes surrounding a study entitled “Muscle Recovery with Fifth Quarter Fresh.” The study, arranged through the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program, evaluated the impact of a specialty milk product on athletes and was featured in press releases issued by MIPS in July and December of 2015.

The committee was charged with reviewing the procedures related to the conduct and administration of this project and the dissemination of preliminary study results. The committee was also asked to provide recommendations for institutional actions.

That institutional review is now complete, and the committee’s final report details 23 separate findings and 15 recommendations. The full report is available here: http://go.umd.edu/3u8.

The University of Maryland acknowledges the shortcomings documented by the committee and has prioritized a swift and comprehensive response, already taking action on several recommendations:

  • Although the committee found no wrongdoing by Fluid Motion LLC, the university is returning all funding provided by Fluid Motion LLC and Allied Milk Producers, totaling $228,910, out of an abundance of caution and to remove any perception of conflict of interest.
  • The press releases issued by MIPS announcing preliminary research results have been removed from university websites.
  • The Division of Research and the Office of the Provost will collaborate to further implement appropriate modifications to university policies, practices, guidelines, and MIPS operating procedures.  
  • We have already begun work with our conflict of interest committee to make appropriate changes to conflict of interest policies and training programs for all applicable research and administrative personnel.

While we have every reason to believe this was an isolated incident, any deviations from accepted practices in the responsible conduct of research cannot be tolerated.  Any potential sanctions against faculty or staff involved in this matter would be considered, by policy, confidential personnel matters.

We value the quality of information and the standards by which we share study results with the public. The University of Maryland prides itself in the integrity of its research enterprise, and the processes surrounding this study failed to meet these standards.

I would like to thank the institutional review committee, chaired by Ann Wylie, Former Provost and Professor Emerita, Department of Geology, and comprised of Gregory F. Ball, Dean, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Robert Dooling, Professor, Department of Psychology; Philip DeShong, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Denis Wirtz, Vice Provost for Research, Johns Hopkins University.

Sincerely,

Patrick O’Shea, UMD Vice President and Chief Research Officer

 

For the report's supporting documents, please email mediainfo@umd.edu.

The University of Maryland will be hosting a teleconference at 12:00 p.m. today regarding the muscle recovery study report. To participate in the teleconference, please dial 1 (800) 793-6775 or +1 212-812-4494 and enter 0137 5925.