Steven S. Rosenfeld (born 1953) was a Harvard undergraduate (Class of 1975) doing research on transfer factor in the laboratory of Dr. David Dressler. His research showed that a subcellular fraction prepared from cells of the immune system of an animal having cell-mediated immunity to the hapten dinitrochlorobenzene could transfer that specific immunity to a second, previously non-immune animal. Further it showed that the active component of this transfer factor appeared to be RNA.
It was soon discovered that Rosenfeld had forged various letters of recommendation for himself and signed Dressler's name to them. This led to re-examination of Rosenfeld's experiments, which could not be successfully repeated by other scientists. Two articles describing Rosenfeld's research on transfer factor had been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Subsequently, Dressler published an Authors' Statement "about the existence and nature of 'transfer factor'" in this same journal, making a "statement of uncertainty and potential retraction with our sincere apologies".
This incident, along with the contemporary falsification of data by William Summerlin at Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Institute, was one of the first events which brought the issue of scientific misconduct to the attention of the scientific community and the American public.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (US). Vol 71. No 6. pp. 2473–2477. Steven Rosenfeld and David Dressler. (June 1974) Transfer Factor: A Subcellular Component that Transmits Information for Specific Immune Responses.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (US). Vol 71. No 11. pp. 4429–4434. David Dressler and Steven Rosenfeld. (Nov. 1974) On the Chemical Nature of Transfer Factor.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (US). Vol 72. No 1. p. 409. David Dressler and Huntington Potter. (Jan. 1975) Authors' Statement
Time magazine, Monday, Dec. 30, 1974. article entitled "The Model Student". see: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,909028,00.html
Ann. Intern. Med. 1974 Dec; 81(6):838-847. Huntington Potter, Steven Rosenfeld, and David Dressler. Transfer Factor. (a Basic Review article.)
Ann. Intern. Med. 1975 Feb: 82(2):279. David Dressler and Huntington Potter. Transfer Factor: Warning on Uncertainty of Results. (a Comments and Correction article)
New Scientist. Vol. 64, No. 929, Pg. 920-921. 26 Dec 1974. Graham Chedd. Transfer factor - another scandal?
New Scientist. Vol. 63, No. 914, Pg. 646-648. 12 Sep 1974. Dr. Joan Zanelli. Transfer factor - science or magic?
Betrayers of the Truth, by William Broad and Nicholas Wade, 1982, Simon and Schuster, New York, page 230.