New CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield previously accused of research misconduct: 5 notes

Robert Redfield, MD, who was confirmed as the new head of the CDC March 21, was reportedly accused of research misconduct during the early 1990s, according to a Vox report.

Here are five things to know about the previous allegations.

1. HHS Secretary Alex Azar confirmed Dr. Redfield's appointment March 21, stating, "Dr. Redfield's scientific and clinical background is peerless … During his two-decade tenure at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, he made pioneering contributions to advance our understanding of HIV/AIDS. His more recent work running a treatment network in Baltimore for HIV and Hepatitis C patients also prepares him to hit the ground running on one of HHS and CDC's top priorities, combating the opioid epidemic."

2. Dr. Redfield currently serves as the Robert C. Gallo, MD Endowed Professor in Translational Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. He also co-founded the Institute of Human Virology and serves as its associate director. However, unlike previous CDC directors, Dr. Redfield does not maintain any prior experience helming a public health agency, according to Vox.

3. While some experts believe his background and research may aid him in crafting the agency's response to infectious diseases, others question the integrity of his research track record and the various healthcare policies he has championed in the past, according to the report.

4. During the 1990s, Dr. Redfield was reportedly accused of scientific misconduct for misrepresenting data about an experimental HIV vaccine, according to The New York Times. While he was cleared of all misconduct charges during a military investigation, data he published about the vaccine was later corrected, according to the report.

"Either [Dr. Redfield] was egregiously sloppy with data or it was fabricated," former Air Force Lt. Col. Craig Hendrix, MD, Wellcome Professor and director of the division of clinical pharmacology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, told Kaiser Health News. "It was somewhere on that spectrum, both of which were serious and raised questions about his trustworthiness."

5. Dr. Redfield succeeds Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, who resigned as director of the CDC in January after six months amid reports she held investments in several tobacco and healthcare companies, which posed a conflict of interest.

To access the Vox report, click here.

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