|Submitted||March 6, 2019|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
In March 2019, the website Gizmodo reported that a man named Damian Jacob Markiewicz Sendler has been falsely holding himself out to be a licensed medical doctor, licensed psychotherapist, and sex researcher (see attached article) https://gizmodo.com/the-fake-sex-doctor-who-conned-the-media-into-publicizi-1832711205. NIH's online indexing and citation tool, PubMed, lists at least seven publications by Mr. Sendler, including the unforgettably-named "Similar mechanisms of traumatic rectal injuries in patients who had anal sex with animals to those who were butt-fisted by human sexual partner." (See attached list.)
I hereby request all records related to (1) Mr. Sendler, (2) his research, and (3) the inclusion of his articles in PubMed.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.
We have received your below and attached request from the NIH FOIA Office. I would like to set up a conference call with you to discuss your request further. Please let me know if you have any availability this week or next.
In the meantime, please review these links that I think will be helpful to you.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or the office at 301-496-9737.
Government Information Specialist
NIH/NHLBI/FOIA Service Center
Rockledge One, Suite 6054
301-496-9737 (FOIA Main Line)
301-827-6259 (Direct Line)
Dear Ms. West,
Thank you very much for your reply, and for the helpful links. Unfortunately, next week doesn't work for me for a conference call. Would the week thereafter be okay?
The week of the 18th through the 22nd works for me. The only day that I am not available is Wednesday.
Please let me know what day/time works best for you next week.
How about Tuesday March 19 at 2 PM? Also, the author of the Gizmodo piece would like to participate in the call. Any objections?
Thank you very much,
Sure that time works for me. No objections to the author joining the call. Marianne may join us. Feel free to call 301-496-9737 at 2pm on March 19.
Thanks very much, Elisabeth, and I look forward to speaking with you on the 19th.
It was a pleasure speaking with you on the phone today. Please see the link to the NIH RePORTER<https://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm>. Here you can search by PI, individual name, institution, time/date of project, IC, etc. This also covers SBIRs, small business grants. Please note that the records retention schedule for extramural funded grant projects is 10 years.
Please write back with any additional information regarding the scope of your request and I will update your request and continue work. Any keywords, email addresses, persons involved, ICs to search, etc is all helpful in narrowing down. In the meantime, you request is still on hold for clarification purposes.
If you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance to you in your search please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you and Marianne for the call today. I consider category (3) of my request satisfied. I had a hard time searching the NIH RePORTER, so I am still unsure as to whether Mr. Sendler received any NIH funding for his work. With regard to categories (1) and (2), I agree to narrow the scope of my request to all records relating to correspondence between NIH and Mr. Sendler.
Mr. Sandler's full name is Damian Jacob Markiewicz Sendler. He also goes by Dr. Damian Jacob Sendler and Damian Dariusz Markiewicz. His email address may be firstname.lastname@example.org, but I am not sure.
Apologies in my delay in getting back to you. Our spam/junk filters send these message to my junk folder which I am not in the practice of checking regularly.
Please describe your RePORTER tool issues and perhaps I can help you troubleshoot. Below is a screenshot of where you can type in his name to search for funding.
As we expressed on the phone call it is too burdensome of a search to search through all NIH emails for anything to or from Mr. Sendler. Please provide any specific details such as timeframe, NIH personnel involved, and any keywords that can assist.
If you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance to you please feel free to give me a call. I am teleworking today so please call the main line to reach me.
Thank you, Elisabeth. I've now used the RePORTER tool to my satisfaction. As for the emails, I will restrict my timeframe to January 1, 2016 to the present. Does that help?
The timeframe does aid the specificity. However, it is still burdensome to search all NIH employee emails to/from Mr. Sendler since 2016. Are there any keywords that you can provide? Which IC(s) do you believe that he would have sent emails to? Any specific information to help us narrow down the scope of this request.
Any information based on what you think his interests/research would be, we need to narrow the search to where we are likely to find records. Some loose examples of the type of specific details I am attempting to ascertain are: if you believe that he worked with allergies that would be with NIAID or if you thought that he worked with neurological diseases that would be with NINDS.
If I can be of any assistance to you please do not hesitate to contact me.
Based on his articles catalogued at PubMed, his areas of interest would appear to include human sexuality and sexual behavior, portrayals of mental illness in video games, and disciplinary proceedings against physicians operating under the influence of alcohol.
I went ahead and conducted a search of the internet and NIH based on the subject matters you provided. Feel free to review the information available on our public website, since we are not subject matter experts in the FOIA Office. It would appear that NIMH, the National Institute on Mental Health, and NIAAA, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism may encompass what you seek. OBSSR, the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, may also be, but I am basing that on the name.
Have you attempted to search the NIH RePORTER with Mr. Sendler's name and/or these ICs and found any conclusive grant/project numbers?
If you are in agreement with the above option, please confirm that you would like to request: emails to/from Mr. Damian Sendler and any NIMH, NIAAA, and/or OBSSR employees from Jan. 1, 2016 to present. Offices tasked will be in touch regarding the need for key words when the search is conducted.
I am also including NIH Office of the Director's FOIA Office, cc'ed, as the scope is now beyond our NHLBI Service Center.
Thank you very much for your message.
1. I did attempt to search the NIH RePORTER, without result. There may be nothing to find; if there is anything, I couldn't find it.
2. I hereby confirm the scope of your proposed email search.
Thank you so much for all your help.
Please see the attached final letter in response to your NIH FOIA request.
Freedom of Information Office
National Institutes of Health
Building 31, Room 5B35
31 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892
[National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Turning Discovery Into Health]<http://www.nih.gov/>
Thank you very much. I consider my request satisfied. My thanks to the FOIA team at NIH, especially Elisabeth West. Although no records were responsive to my request, I learned something about NIH and how it functions, which is reward enough.
My very best,