Psychiatrist Engaged in Research Misconduct, Says Gov’t Watchdog
By Ellie Kincaid and Ivan Oransky, MD
December 30, 2019

— Excerpt

A former New York University School of Medicine, Langone Medical Center psychiatry researcher faked clinical data for research with federally funded grants worth millions of dollars, according to the US Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

In studies of anorexia, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Alexander Neumeister, MD, “misrepresented the characteristics of the subjects entered in the research” using tactics such as “combining data from multiple subjects to represent single subjects to justify financial payments” and “changing and/or instructing his staff to change, omit, or ignore clinical and psychiatric assessment data contained in the electronic and/or written research records,” the federal watchdog said today.

Neumeister, who agreed to a 2-year ban on federal funding and to correct or retract four papers — two of which appeared in JAMA Psychiatry…

The case goes back several years, and spans grants funded between 2012 and 2015. NYU “quietly shut down eight studies at its prominent psychiatric research center and parted ways with a top researcher after discovering a series of violations in a study of an experimental, mind-altering drug,” for PTSD, the New York Times reported in June 2016…

Neumeister was criminally charged by the US Department of Justice in November 2017 for stealing government funds to pay for trips for family and friends. He was alleged to have used those funds “to repeatedly visit a professional ballet dancer in Salt Lake City — and to fly that ‘friend’ to New York to visit him at least four times,” STAT News reported.

In June 2018, he pleaded guilty to the theft of $87,000, after which a judge sentenced Neumeister — a classically trained pianist — to play piano for “an hour at least twice weekly for the next three years at group facilities in Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, and Waterbury,” Connecticut, the Associated Press reported at the time…