From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
Levon Michael Khachigian (born 6 March 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon) is an Australian medical scientist notable for work in vascular cell and molecular biology, cardiovascular pathology, and cancer pathology. He is the inventor of the experimental drug Dz13, which may help treat skin cancer, eye diseases, and asthma. Trials of Dz13 were temporarily suspended by UNSW in July 2013. The trial had yet to commence patient recruitment."
Khachigian was born in Beirut to Armenian parents who were evangelical Protestant missionaries, He was raised in Naremburn, New South Wales, Australia and attended Naremburn Public School and Crows Nest Boys' High School.
Khachigian has served as a President of the Australian Society for Medical Research and of the Australian Vascular Biology Society. He has also been a member of the editorial boards of 12 journals, including American Journal of Pathology and Endothelium. Khachigian has been awarded an Australia Fellowship by the National Health and Medical Research Council, a Commonwealth Health Minister's Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research, a GlaxoSmithKline Australia Award for Research Excellence, a Gottschalk Award from the Australian Academy of Science, a Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, and a Eureka Prize for Medical Research.
In 2009, Khachigian's lab retracted three papers after David Vaux (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute) raised concerns that they contained images that Vaux "believed were untrustworthy". An independent investigation found no evidence of misconduct.
A former scientist in Khachigian's research group Ying Morgan raised concerns with the university. The university appointed an independent panel to investigate these concerns and "there were no findings of research misconduct."
In July 2013, a Dz13 trial was suspended. In an official statement, the University of New South Wales claimed that the more recent allegations are novel, that at each of Khachigian's clinical trials, Kachigian's work has been approved by ethics committees, and that, at each stage, funding bodies have been advised as necessary.
Furthermore, Khachigian, released a statement and reply to questions posed to him. In it, he asserted that, as the matter was under investigation, he could not comment; however, Khachigian maintained that the data is as is and not manipulated and that the allegations were unsubstantiated.