Suicide Attempt Draws Attention to Widespread Academic Cheating in China

The recent case of a young scientist’s suicide attempt highlights the widespread use of cheating among Chinese academics.

Lu Yan, 32, is a medical researcher and associate professor at Zhongshan Hospital, a major teaching hospital in Shanghai and affiliated with Fudan University. According to the hospital’s website, Lu’s research is focused on the pathology of type 2 diabetes and fatty liver. His work has been published in top medical journals, including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cell Metabolism, Gastroenterology, GUT, and Diabetes.

Although Lu was married and had a child, he fell in love with a female graduate student and divorced his wife. Most Chinese media reports have not disclosed the girlfriend’s identity, but some social media users claim that her name is Li Min, according to a July 26 report by China’s news portal Sohu. He showered his new girlfriend with gifts, including an apartment and a car. He also included her name in five of his research publications. However, when Lu discovered that she was in a relationship with three other men, he became heartbroken and tried to take his own life. He took sleeping pills after posting a suicide note on social media and accusing his girlfriend for being unfaithful. He was later resuscitated at a hospital.

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