There's a fantastic email floating around from a disillusioned postdoc in the Movassaghi lab. The guy sent this email to the entire MIT chem department and to total synthesis luminaries all over the world... blaming all of his problems in his failed postdoc on a graduate student he mentored, when it was the postdoc's own issues that led to his downfall. The postdoc guy is seriously insane and I thought you'd all like to read about it.
For what it's worth: I think that Movassaghi is an excellent mentor and researcher, though I am not working for him.
Posted here with names redacted:
Dear MIT Faculty, Postdocs, Graduate Students,
It is my academic duty to respectfully report a severe case of academic
misconduct, academic fraud, and plagiarism that is being totally endorsed
and practiced at MIT; in order to protect my fellow researchers from
On top of all things, I am officially reporting academic theft of my
research results and official research academic harassment at MIT.
After I finished my project that was "supposedly" funded by DuPont,
Mohammad Movassaghi was harassing me to submit my success and manuscript to
his utterly failing graduate student, XXXXgradstudent in order to salvage
his appointment at MIT (for an unknown personal reason). When I refused,
Mohammad Movassaghi threatened me with my letter of recommendation if I do
not "cooperate" with his failing student [cooperate here means to accept to
be screwed over]. I believe previous committee members of XXXXgradstudent
would know what I am talking about.
I finished my project single handedly, perfected every step and
intermediate to a multigram or multidecagram scale, fully characterized all
intermediates with 1H NMR, 13C NMR, IR, COSY, HSQC, HMBC, TLC, and HRMS. I
synthesized 80 mg of the final compound after I fully investigated at least
five different chemical synthetic routes to furnish it. My notebooks are
superbly organized, color coded, and full of every little detail about each
single step and reaction, dates, times, amounts, equivalents.....everything.
I recently discovered that Mohammad Movassaghi wrote on my appointment
forms that I was funded by an "Eli Lilly Award" while I attest that I never
won any awards from Eli Lilly and did not even know that it exists on my
forms instead of DuPont. Mohammad Movassaghi scammed DuPont and DuPont
legal counsels had no idea before I officially conveyed this information to
Furthermore, Mohammad Movassaghi warned me against looking for an
apartment for my family and he told me: "just find an efficiency room and
if you look for an apartment then this is your choice and you should bear
the consequences". He even wrote me a fake letter warning me of piles and
piles of lies that he invented while I was moving my family to Boston (to
black mail me with this letter to submit my success to his failing student
XXXXXgradstudent). A similar situation happened with XXXXXXX, a
postdoctoral researcher. Guess what, Mohammad Movassaghi fired both of them
when I indicated that I will head straight to the office of The President
Recently, Mohammad Movassaghi and his graduate student XXXXXXXothergradstudent reported
some of my exact data in their publication without any reference to my
name, this is academic theft and plagiarism. I have all the original FID
files that XXXXXXothergradstudent stole from my data and there will be severe legal
consequences. I presented my progress in front of DuPont at The DuPont-MIT
The level of ethics at MIT: when I reported these academic crimes to Human
Resources at MIT, XXXXXX threatened me with my academic career if I
pursue Mohammad Movassaghi legally. When I reported these academic crimes
to Professor XXXXXXXX, The Head of XXXXXXX at MIT, she
threatened me with my academic career if I take legal paths, and threatened
me to cancel my publication with DuPont-I am not sure she had full idea
about the scam that DuPont experienced anyways.
Somebody please advise Movassaghi not to talk disrespectfully about
Professor XXXXX, Professor XXXXXX, and Professor XXXXX and ProfessorXXXXXX at Scripps. Poor me I just had to nod
silently in order to get back to my work otherwise get ready to face HELL
if you do not sympathize with his anger. For example, he used to tell me
that Professor XXXX is only good at recruiting students by turning on
marshall military music while he explains to them the new synthetic mission
impossible, the most polite example I can mention in an email-but that was
before XXXXgradstudentXXXX incident anyways.
I also have emails from Mohammad Movassaghi harassing me to come do work
in his laboratory after the expiry of my visa and while I was on a temprary
leave of absence. THIS IS IN VIOLATION OF THE USA HOMELAND SECURITY RULES
as he is forcing me to violate my status and against the warnings I
received from MIT officers and that he knows it. Somebody will be in deep
trouble if not in jail.
XXXXXXXX from HR at MIT foolishly said that I cannot prove anything
since (she imagined) "that they erased my MIT email account and that MIT is
not obligated to reproduce the emails to me". I replied to her that she can
stop hallucinating because I backed up my whole account in three different
servers as well as with two lawyers.
This information has been officially conveyed to Professor XXXXX,
The President at MIT, to Professor XXXXX, The Vice Provost of
Research at MIT, The Office of The Dean of The School of Science, The
Provost of Research, The Ombuds Office at MIT as well as scientific staff
and legal counsels at DuPont. I also filed an official grievance of
academic misconduct against Mohammad Movassaghi and requested an official
investigation and full copies of my notebooks.
Please see attached document for details. Again, all my fellow researchers
beware. I believe if a female student is raped in the Movassaghi group, she
will also be threatened with her academic future by XXXXX and XXXXX
if she opens her mouth, and XXXX will tell her some nonsense.