The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 42.0°F | Partly Cloudy
Article Tools

Former MIT professor pleads guilty to false statements in federal research grant application

A Falmouth man was convicted on March 3 in federal court of making false statements in a federal research grant application aimed at improving scientists’ understanding of T-cells and autoimmune diseases.

Former MIT biology professor Luk Van Parijs, 40, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Denise J. Casper to one count of making a false statement. Van Parijs faces up to five years imprisonment, to be followed by up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Judge Casper scheduled sentencing for June 14, 2011.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the government’s evidence would have proven that in 2003, Van Parijs knowingly and willfully made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements to improve his competitiveness in obtaining a research grant from the National Institutes of Health. Specifically, Van Parijs falsely claimed that his lab had generated a particular type of transgenic mouse and that his lab had obtained particular results in experiments.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Susan J. Waddell, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Boston Regional Office, made the announcement March 3. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory F. Noonan of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, March 3, 2011