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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Cancer journal retracts herbal medicine paper, citing misconduct probe

with 174 comments

The journal Cancer Prevention Research has retracted a 2009 article by a group of scientists from the University of Kentucky after the institution determined that one of the figures in the article wasn’t kosher.

The article, “Psoralidin, an Herbal Molecule, Inhibits Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase–Mediated Akt Signaling in Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer Cells,” has been cited 9 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Earlier iterations of the research were presented at two cancer meetings in 2008.

We’re not clear what, exactly, is wrong with the graphic; the notice isn’t particularly helpful (and behind a paywall, to boot) (Update, 1:30 p.m. Eastern: The paywall seems to have been removed):

The Publisher retracts this article (Can Prev Res 2009;2:234-243), which was published in the March 2009 issue of Cancer Prevention Research (1), based on the recommendation of the Investigation Committee at the University of Kentucky after an institutional investigation made a finding of misconduct related to Figure 3A.

The authors were given an opportunity to retract the article, but declined.

We heard from the publisher of the journal, the American Association of Cancer Research, but they didn’t have anything to add.

We did, however, reach the senior author of the paper, Chendil Damodaran, who seems to have borne the brunt of the punishment in the affair. Damodaran said he was asked to leave the University of Kentucky six months ago, after the school made its determination. But he insists the problem was essentially a clerical error made by someone working on the project — who, he doesn’t know — during the uploading of the figures:

It’s not misconduct. The student uploaded the wrong file. The University of Kentucky made a mistake about the misconduct

But Damodaran, who is now at Texas Tech University in El Paso, may be facing even bigger problems. His work was funded by a $1.1 million grant from the NIH, which now is investigating the case. Indeed, Damodaran said the matter arose when “somebody complained” to the agency about a problem with the figure.

Damodaran said he should have done a better job of checking the figures in the manuscript before they it was published  — although he says the other co-authors shared that responsibility, too. And he wonders why none of the other faculty members in the group was asked to leave the institution.

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174 Responses

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  1. This retraction is strange. Many more details needed.

    The story above states that “We’re not clear what, exactly, is wrong with the graphic; the notice isn’t particularly helpful (and behind a paywall, to boot).” I can obtain full-text access to the notice without using any paywall access. It appears to be freely available online.

    Sierra Rayne

    October 27, 2011 at 10:38 am

    • Thanks, added an update. It was paywalled early this morning, seems they removed that.

      ivanoransky

      October 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm

  2. Easy to spot what’s wrong – the lanes for PC-3 30, 60 and 80 mins have been inverted and used as the same time points for DU-145.

    irre

    October 27, 2011 at 10:43 am

  3. Take a look carefully at the PI3K blot in the left upper side of Figure 3A (the one with 2 bands, labelled PC-3). Now flip it vertically, and compare it to the PI3K blot in the right side of Figure 3A (labelled DU-145). Same figure, just slightly greater exposure on the PC-3 one.

    Virgil

    October 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

  4. “We’re not clear what, exactly, is wrong with the graphic;”
    Quick glance at the figure suggests that the 60 and 80 lanes of PC-3 (panel A) are the same as the 60 and 80 lanes of DU-145 – just flipped…

    elledr1ver

    October 27, 2011 at 11:03 am

  5. Hello!! i knew this is coming. This person is well known in India – almost every conference in India he gets self-invited. I thought it took a while to identify this actually – retraction watch should follow his independent work as well as his work with former supervisor Dr. Mansoor Ahmed – who is also very notorious in this kind of action. Please follow both of them. I am surprised that he got job in Texas already. Astonishing – he got 1.1 million grant for this kind of research – he probably has friends everywhere..including NIH study section..Check him thoroughly.

    Not Surprising

    October 27, 2011 at 11:06 am

  6. Not Surprising

    October 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

  7. I’m a bit confused. The Veh, 30, 60, and 80 lanes of PC-3 all have ‘smearing’ going up, whereas these four lanes in DU-145 all have smearing going down. Thus, if lanes 60 and 80 from DU-145 were just flipped from PC-3, lanes Veh and 30 must be ‘authentic’ (as they don’t appear to be flipped from PC-3).

    Sierra Rayne

    October 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

  8. If there is manipulation here, it must be more than just flipping PC-3 to DU-145. If we look at the bottom relative alignment of the bands in PC-3, it is different than the top relative alignment of bands in DU-145 (i.e., the 30 lane is above the 60 lane in PC-3, and if flipped, it should be below the 60 lane in DU-145, but it’s not, its above the 60 land in DU-145).

    Sierra Rayne

    October 27, 2011 at 11:16 am

  9. The 60 and 80 bands in DU-145 also appear to have a slightly lighter background than the Veh and 30 lanes, as opposed to all the bands in PC-3 having the same background color (at least to my eyes).

    Sierra Rayne

    October 27, 2011 at 11:20 am

  10. http://www.csr.nih.gov/Roster_proto/member_roster.asp?srg=CE&SRGDISPLAY=CE&CID=102295

    This guy is a recently chartered member of a standing study section.
    Unbelieveable!

    scotus

    October 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

  11. Something else that seems a little odd to me. Dr Damodaran (or is it Dr. Chendil?) seems to invert his name as well as his gel lanes…

    e.g. in his paper in Oncogene in 2004 he is Damodaran Chendil:

    “Curcumin confers radiosensitizing effect in prostate cancer cell line PC-3″Oncogene (2004) 23, 1599–1607. Damodaran Chendil1, Rama S Ranga1, David Meigooni1, Sabapathi Sathishkumar2 and Mansoor M Ahmed2

    Correspondence: D Chendil, Division of Clinical Health Sciences, Room # 209D, College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky, 900 South Limestone street, Lexington, KY 40536-0200, USA. E-mail: dchen2@uky.edu

    and likewise on his research profile page that is still live at the Uni of Kentuky he seems to be a “Dr Chendil”

    (see e.g. http://www.mc.uky.edu/healthsciences/research/profiles/chendil.html)

    whereas on the paper in Cancer Prevention Research and in this Retraction Watch article he is Chendil Damodaran (i.e. Dr. Damodaran

    Requests for reprints:
    Chendil Damodaran, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky, Room 124E, 900 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40536-0200. Phone: 859-323-1100, ext. 80851/80879; Fax: 859-323-8957; E-mail: dchen2@uky.edu.

    I believe that South Indian names are not necessarily strict “given name-family name” designations, but it seems a little odd that a scientist wouldn’t have come to a straightforward decision about whether he is a Dr. Chendil or a Dr. Damodaran. For example, even from the point of view of literature searching it results in the oddity of finding 21 papers by D Chendil (Uni Kentucky as a unique identifier), and a seperate set of 16 papers by C Damodaran (Uni Kentucky).

    chris

    October 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm

  12. In this paper: Koduru et al., Mol Cancer Ther, 2010 9; 202

    Figure 1, Panel A Notch-1 blot for HCT-116 and SW-620 are the same.
    Figure 2, Panel A GAPDH blot HCT-116 (lanes UT, 3, 6, 12) is the same as Figure 3, Panel A GAPDH blot HCT-116 (lanes UT, 6, 12 24)

    Tip of the iceberg?

    FigureSleuthette

    October 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    • Isn’t it always? It would be funny if this wasn’t becoming an almost weekly occurrence. I doubt that Kentucky would ask him to resign for one figure as this would be easier for them to cover up/deal with. I am sure there is more to follow.

      Dave

      October 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    • Does peer review even exist in these journals?

      Sierra Rayne

      October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    • One of the co-authors of the Koduru paper was recently hired by the University of Kentucky (along with his substantial entourage) as the “shining star/ top tier” Cancer Center Director
      http://www.research.uky.edu/odyssey/summer09/evers.html
      Some of the other prominent co-authors of Damoradan’s papers published while at Kentucky (Kyprianou and Rohr) hold endowed chairs (Rohr in particular published extensively with Damodaran.

      Scotus

      October 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    • Would you mind if I investigated and documented this issue on my blog? If you approve, I will give you a ‘hat tip’.

      Sierra Rayne

      October 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    • And I was referring to the original comment by “FigureSleuthette” regarding the apparent issues with the Mol Cancer Ther paper.

      Sierra Rayne

      October 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      • Go ahead.

        FigureSleuthette

        October 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      • I just submitted a comment on the NUS case…you may be interested in following up these cases:

        1) http://abnormalscienceblog.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/melendez-et-al-eleven-at-one-swoop/
        In the above blog, Dr. Alirio Melendez case is being discussed. Some important papers they have missed out for example:
        Check his FASEB Paper (2009, 23: 2412-2424) Figures 5B and 3C with JBC 2004, 279: 22505 – 22513 and JBC 2002, 277:17255 – 17262.

        2)http://abnormalscienceblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/singapore-sms-alert-4-at-nus/
        In the above blog, another NUS case is being referred. You must be referring his papers if you are writing a review on resveratrol, you must be familiar with some of these publications.There are numerous duplications in both original contributions and reviews (a number of reviews). Only few examples in addition to the above abnormal science blog are given below.
        Antioxid Redox Signal 2010 13: 807 – 819
        Cell death Differ 2010 17: 408 – 420
        Front Biosci 2009, 1: 263 – 268
        Biochim Biophys Acta 1787: 462 – 467
        Cell Death Differ 14: 1617 – 1627
        Antioxid Redox Signal 2011 July 12
        Interestingly, there is an article on Professor Barry Halliwell by this person:
        Redox Pioneer: Professor Barry Halliwell in Antioxid Redox Signal 14: 1761 – 1766

        3) http://abnormalscienceblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/sms-alert-2-at-national-university-of-singapore/

        I just followed up some cases from an abnormal science thread – on department of pharmacology, I found another person from Pharmacology. There are irregularities in their publications as well. For example, check these articles
        Mol Cancer. 2011 Sep 1;10:107.
        Apoptosis. 2011 Oct;16(10):1028-41.
        Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Nov;164(5):1506-21
        This group has association with Professor Bharat Aggarwal from USA. Something may come up with this investigation.

        LOST IN SCIENCE

        October 28, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      • Ironically, there is some similarity in Damodaran’s case and the cases I have put up just now…at least two of them …these people are working on similar area…natural/herbal compounds in cancer therapy..

        LOST IN SCIENCE

        October 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    • I sent an e-mail to Molecular Cancer Therapeutics’s editorial office (and to the institutional e-mail of the Editor-in-Chief) this morning about FigureSleuthette’s comment. I posted the e-mail to this page, and it is in the moderation queue (because it has a number of hyperlinks in it, which means it gets flagged for moderation and not immediately posted). Adam/Ivan may post my e-mail sometime today if they approve the comment.

      Sierra Rayne

      October 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm

  13. Very interesting development within last few hours. Study section member already?? Texas Tech Univ, El Paso watch out for this guy!! Chris is right – he uses him name interchangeably in his publications – may be there is a reason behind this as well. I request his trail should be investigated as well – as I indicated in my previous postings (see above). I cannot believe that he is blaming his co-authors as well. In that particular paper, three of other authors are from his laboratory. Look at his other publications – mostly a cricket team from India…I have heard his and his former boss Dr. Mansoor M Ahmed’s talks almost every now and then in India. Repeatedly, I had doubts about the data. Abnormal Science may want to pick up these cases as some of the papers have not been retracted yet. This will be an exciting reading for another few days.
    @Sierra Rayne: I am sure that he must be including his former bosses in Japan and USA as peer reviewers. Journals may not even have enough time to search for potential reviewers and they might just pick names suggested by the authors. Helpless situation – I am surprised that he could get job again after leaving Kentucky…strange world though.

    Not Surprising

    October 27, 2011 at 6:57 pm

  14. The Texas Tech medical school at El Paso is very new. I don’t expect they are very selective or attentive about who they hire.

    Scotus

    October 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    • This type of hiring process occurs at a lot of places; seemingly at places that can’t use the ‘we-are-rather-new’ excuse.

      Brad Casali

      October 27, 2011 at 11:43 pm

  15. Also, the lanes in Panel D appear to be pasted on top of a gray background (i.e., perfectly flat at the top and bottom).

    elledr1ver

    October 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

  16. I guess the investigation committee at Kentucky, all the faculties they dont have any NIH funds. even the big shots at the KY university dont have , those at directors/chairman levels. But when an asst prof. got 1.1 million grants, then all sudden the faculty got an envious feeling. because all were trying for funds and all sudden when he got 1.1 million funds they tried to put into some way to remove him. This thing i came to know wen i got a chance to meet some of my friend when gone to AACR conference.
    And moreever the retration of paper shows that, if these guys were guilty then they would have retracted themselves, but they considered it as technical/ clerical error, it reflects that it was really a error in unintentional way. And irrespective of figures, you see/read the concept …the finding is novel and has therapeutic value. And it is cited so many times. It shows the datas are reproducible.
    Even the journal reviewers dint pointed out the error, in case any chance if someone found..it must to be replaced by new figures.
    SO everything is good with chendil dats all….

    charlotte

    October 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    • You state that “[a]nd it is cited so many times. It shows the datas are reproducible.” There is no correlation between the number of citations and the validity of data. I (and probably others) can produce numerous examples of either highly cited papers that were retracted, and/or are just junk science. Please point to a single example in the literature where someone has reproduced the findings from this paper.

      Sierra Rayne

      October 28, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      • None of the papers in question have been highly cited.

        Scotus

        October 29, 2011 at 6:42 am

    • Yes It is true and I totally agree with you Charlotte.. Even if there are few citations, which actually means few people are working with the natural compounds and even fewer people are working with Psoraldin, I suppose. It is pretty much the case of sour grapes though, It still is a strange case!! It is also easy to blame as there are very few who are actually working in the field of herbal medicines and cancer or any other disease. But it looks like the journal has already retracted the paper.. But the doubt “a single example in the literature where someone has reproduced the findings from this paper” is also a valid doubt. Probably someone who has extra time can do that and show it is a genuine data from Chendil…

      Muchchad

      November 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm

  17. Panel A is a bit more complex than originally posted – and thus more likely to be manipulation. The 60 and 80 lanes of PC-3 and DU-145 are vertically flipped. But the 30 lane is flipped both horizontally and vertically. The Veh lanes appears to be genuinely different.

    elledr1ver

    October 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm

  18. One more thing to add….about his mentor mansoor..as some body asked..above..he dont have any NIH funds so far. Only Chendil got all the funds of 1.1 million.

    charlotte

    October 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    • I’m still trying to decipher your dialect but since several of the people Damodaran was publishing with from Kentucky (Rohr, Kyprianou, Evers) had more research funding than him I don’t think your “jealousy” theory holds water.
      The “clerical error” defense would only be valid if Damodaran could produce properly documented research records for the “real” data that could then be published as a correction. One assumes that since the investigating committee decided that misconduct had occurred this couldn’t be done.
      My guess is that as is usually the case, these investigations run very slowly and the accused can take advantage of the presumption of innocence and personal privacy expectations that the university always associates with personnel matters to use his (or her) research funding to engineer an escape to an unsuspecting new institution.
      We are now at the inevitable point where the chickens come home to roost as evidenced by this first retraction, the simple identification of other cases of likely data manipulation which will lead to further retractions and an eventual finding of research misconduct by the NIH/ORI, resignation from his current position and the end of his involvement in cancer research. How long this will take is hard to guess.

      Scotus

      October 28, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      • If the PI had some sort of involvement in the misconduct, then I think it would be true that his career in science may end with an ORI finding of misconduct (at least, in terms of NIH funding).

        But, so far, we have no proof whatsoever that Chendil was the one who falsified this Figure 3. We can make inferences that it may not have been this technician because Chendil was dismissed. Whether or not Chendil took advantage of the presumption of innocence to carve out a new career somewhere else is beside the point; we don’t know the details yet.

        Brad Casali

        October 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm

      • The corresponding author is responsible for the content of a manuscript. Damodaran was the corresponding author on this work. The problems with Figure 3(A) are so clear that even non-experts in the field (such as myself) can see them almost immediately. Given how this manuscript is essentially just a number of photographs and their interpretations, one would expect Damodaran to review the manuscript before submission, and with his purported ‘expertise’ in the field, he should have been easily able to see the problems with Figure 3(A) and check into the clear issues. This means he should be reasonably held responsible for the problems whether he made the alterations himself, instructed someone else to make the alterations, or missed catching the figure altered by someone without his knowledge. As they say, if you want to wear the big shoes, make the big money, and get all the fame, you need to be held accountable when things go wrong.

        The situation of PI responsibility gets ‘greyer’ when the data is not presented in such an overt fashion. In this case, though, it is almost unbelievable this passed the eyes of the PI/corresponding author, reviewers, and editors without the problems being raised. The reviewers and editors should be named publicly for this nonsense as well.

        Sierra Rayne

        October 28, 2011 at 8:21 pm

  19. @Charlotte: Please read Scotus’s response and the comments posted above. It is not one paper – many papers. He must have practiced this before. I presume you are one of his associates or previous colleagues. No justifications needed here as they are all documented now.

    @Scotus: Well written response. This dialect is from Tamilnadu, India.

    Charlotte’s response on concept – if your data is not real how can you prove your concept. Natural products, at least some of them, may have therapeutic use. But you do not need to work towards proving your concept or hypothesis…

    Not Surprising

    October 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm

  20. @Sierra Rayne: I agree with you about the PI being responsible for what comes out of his/her lab. This is said countless times, though. Take for instance the multiple instances on ORI where a graduate student had falsified figures, but the PI still goes on publishing with very little harm to his or her career.

    Personally, I didn’t catch at first glance the problem with Figure 3 until people commented on it. I didn’t think it was obvious unless you were looking for it.

    But, notice that I said that we don’t know the details yet of why he was dismissed, other than he was asked to leave after the committee reached its decision.

    Brad Casali

    October 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    • @Brad: I generally agree.

      If a student/post-doc/technician makes up data and it is in a format that the PI would not reasonably be expected to check into, then I don’t think the PI is responsible – and his/her career should go on as before. But in this field of ‘blotology’, everything in a major paper hangs on the photographs. To me, this case is crystal clear. I think we all agree Figure 3(A) looks ‘big time’ fishy. If a PI carrying a million dollar research grant in mid-career can’t spot this issue immediately in one of his own papers at either the pre-submission, review, or galley proof stage, then he has some real competency issues and/or something to hide.

      Damodaran’s papers also have bar graphs, etc., in them, and it is trivial for a student to make up the data behind these, and I wouldn’t expect the PI to spend all his/her time double-checking this level of detail. But a photograph on which the validity of a paper is (at least partially) dependent and which will be published? Different standard applies here.

      FigureSleuthette apparently found some problems in at least one of his other papers. If further problems are found in other papers with other leading co-authors, then the issue is clearly systemic and the PI must assume full responsibility on all counts. If it was a one-off issue, maybe some doubt creeps in.

      And agreed on more details needed.

      Sierra Rayne

      October 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      • Speaking of bar graphs, the error bars in this paper are miniscule (for the most part). I don’t do this kind of work so don’t know if this is typical for these types of experiments. If so, I need to change fields! ;-) Anyone who performs these types of experiment care to comment on the probability of obtaining results this tight?

        elledr1ver

        October 29, 2011 at 11:48 am

      • @elledr1ver: regarding bar graphs and error bars – small error bars not that common in biological experiments unless you perform experiments with a bigger sample size…this may be a case of manipulation, just suspicion. if one does experiments on mice, error bars are usually larger and however, using large number of animals – say more than 100 or 200, you may get small standard deviations or error bars. In in vitro studies using cell lines, variations among experiments/replicates are very common….

        Not Surprising

        October 29, 2011 at 7:58 pm

  21. The Journal was told that the investigating committee made a finding of misconduct which by statutary definition means that they determined the data in question were deliberately fabricated or falsified. A reasonable assumption would be that the laboratory records didn’t identify properly documented data to support a defense that an honest error had been made. Until we see a report from the ORI we won’t know anything more.

    Scotus

    October 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm

  22. So Damadoran himself stated that ORI is investigating him through your [the RW editors'] email correspondence?

    Brad Casali

    October 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    • UK have to inform the NIH/ORI if they make a finding of misconduct (as a condition of being an institution that accepts NIH funding). So NIH/ORI would have found out about this even though someone apparently tried to speed the process up by informing them directly.

      Scotus

      October 29, 2011 at 6:44 am

      • True. Federal law requires ORI to be notified where jurisdictional funds apply.

        But I find it rather telling that this guy volunteered the information he was being investigated by the ORI. Even if you contact the ORI, they can’t comment on any ongoing investigation due to privacy laws until they issue a finding.

        Brad Casali

        October 29, 2011 at 10:30 am

  23. One real problem I see with Damodaran’s claims is that he states “It’s not misconduct. The student uploaded the wrong file. The University of Kentucky made a mistake about the misconduct.”

    If this is true, why wasn’t a correction filed by Damodaran with the journal and which would have published the ‘correct’ figure, which of course would need to be entirely supportive of the original conclusions and interpretations of the paper in order for the ‘clerical error’ defence to hold up? I suspect Damodaran is following this discussion (or he should be). He could readily log in and answer our questions, and provide the correct figure directly to Adam and Marcus, who could post it here, and we could all analyze it. And, if the ‘clerical error’ defence is true, why wouldn’t Damodaran be telling everyone (including the interviewer for this website) that he tried to convince the journal, his institution, and any other authorities to just let him file a Correction, but that they all overruled him (for some unknown reason) and railroaded him into an unwarranted Retraction and subsequent loss of employment?

    Everyone on this page has written in calling into question the authenticity of the published Figure 3(A). As I read it, everyone who has seen the published Figure 3(A) (link provided above) says that the figure is clearly manipulated. So, why does this figure even exist in Damodaran’s group? If Damodaran’s group had a ‘real Figure 3(A)’ that wasn’t published, but which fully supported all the interpretations and conclusions in the text of the manuscript, why was this flawed Figure 3(A) even constructed? Was someone in the group bored, and just decided “I know the original authentic figure is fine and supports all our conclusions, but – the heck with it – I’m going to fake a new Figure 3(A) and stick it on my hard-drive just for fun”? This does not seem likely.

    If the correct figure exists, let’s see it.

    Sierra Rayne

    October 28, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    • @Sierra Rayne: I put up few potential irregularities which you can use for Hat Tip. Please follow them up…agree lot of work but worth pointing it to the journals…

      LOST IN SCIENCE

      October 28, 2011 at 11:24 pm

  24. Aside from this retracted article mentioned in this story, the other paper with FigureSleuthette mentions (http://mct.aacrjournals.org/content/9/1/202.full.pdf) shares, besides Chendil, three other authors. Both papers have different, but still among the three shared authors, first authors.

    Brad Casali

    October 28, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    • Agreed, the ‘manipulation’ problems could lie below the PI level and be widespread in his group (potentially without his knowledge – although if you’re an expert in this field, how can you possibly not see problems with Figure 3(A)?), but we’re still left with the more important question of “why does the altered Figure 3(A) exist if the mysterious real Figure 3(A) – which apparently none of us have seen – tells a perfectly consistent story with what is in the published paper?”

      Damodaran has to address this, along with a full explanation of why a simple Correction wasn’t filed (this would have been trivial – just show the editor, publisher, institution, and any agencies the ‘real figure’ [assuming it exists] and that its interpretation matches what was originally written in the main text, and this issue is essentially over for all parties and with minimal embarrassment) instead of a full-on Retraction and loss of employment.

      It would have to be a ridiculously toxic world with tremendous ‘power politics’ at the University of Kentucky for this institution to railroad a Retraction in a major journal onto an entire research team (thereby intentionally harming innocent people still at the school) just to ‘get at’ one individual they clearly wanted out, and to also be able to exert such a public vendetta with the support of the publisher, editors, and any oversight granting agencies. This seems a major stretch to me (and I’ve seen ridiculous things here in the Canadian academic system to compare with this).

      To show it’s a culture supported/encouraged/overlooked by the PI, someone would need to find a paper without any overlapping authors other than the PI and which also has image manipulation problems. Of course, the PI could just say he ‘chooses poorly’ in terms of group members. But it would be very suggestive of PI-led misconduct.

      Sierra Rayne

      October 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm

  25. Will do!

    Sierra Rayne

    October 28, 2011 at 11:27 pm

  26. Looking for a textbook example of creative photoshopping ? Check out the Damodaran Chendil paper entitled ‘Curcumin confers radiosensitizing effect in prostate cancer cell line PC-3′ published in Oncogene (2004) 23, 1599–1607
    http://www.nature.com.gate2.inist.fr/onc/journal/v23/n8/pdf/1207284a.pdf

    Lanes 1-6 of the EMSA in Figure 2A serve as the backdrop for the EMSA in Figure 3B. Look closely and you’ll see that lanes 7 and 8 of Figure 3B are pasted on top of what was Figure 2A. How did something this obvious make it through peer-review (in consecutive Figures, no less). I’ll admit that I can’t figure out exactly what was done here… can someone help explain the similarities between the right hand lanes of both figures, are they different exposures of the same film ? An aside… the blot in Figure 2B is hilarious, absolutely nothing suspect about it at all !

    FigureSleuth

    October 29, 2011 at 6:40 am

    • I spotted this too. There are dramatic differences in contrast and resolution in almost all of the western blot images that he publishes. Fig 2B in the oncogene paper is one of the most egregious examples.
      Unlike all of the other work, this one is moderately well cited (126 citations according to Google Scholar) so if it contains fabricated or falsified data some real harm may have been done to others.

      Scotus

      October 29, 2011 at 6:48 am

  27. Take a look at the paper by Mansoor Ahmed and colleagues published in J Biol Chem 277(3):2234-46, 2002. The images on the left side of figure 11A are identical but they are purported to be untreated (top) or irradiated cells (bottom). Damodaran Chendil is the 3rd author on this one.
    http://www.jbc.org/content/277/3/2234/F11.expansion.html.

    Sometimes I find myself wondering if it is worthwhile finding examples like this and posting them to Retraction Watch if the journal is never informed. Adam and Ivan, perhaps you should consider a ‘fill in the blank’ style interface on the website where readers can enter the pertinent information and click submit to notify the editor….’Dear Sir, a reader (name/affiliation) of our blog Retraction Watch wishes to bring to your attention….’

    Is it a problem when the number of retractions you’ve incited surpasses the number of papers you’ve published ?

    FigureSleuth

    October 29, 2011 at 9:07 am

    • It would only take very little effort to email the Journal and institutional research administrators yourself. Are you concerned about doing this pseudoanonymously?
      I don’t think you need to be concerned about possible reprisals for whistleblowing. Some of these examples of figure manipulation are so egregious I don’t think its going to matter who brings them to light.

      Scotus

      October 29, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      • I sent an e-mail to Oncogene’s editorial office (and to the institutional e-mail of the Editor-in-Chief) this morning about FigureSleuth’s comment. I posted the e-mail to this page, and it is in the moderation queue (because it has a number of hyperlinks in it, which means it gets flagged for moderation and not immediately posted). Adam/Ivan may post my e-mail sometime today if they approve the comment.

        Sierra Rayne

        October 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    • The following e-mail was sent this morning to the institutional e-mails of the co-Editors-in-Chief of the Journal of Biological Chemistry:

      “Dear Drs. Tabor and Fedor:

      The website Retraction Watch ( http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/) has run a recent story about a former researcher from the University of Kentucky, Dr. Chendil Damodaran, and a retracted paper of his in the journal Cancer Prevention Research ( http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/cancer-journal-retracts-herbal-medicine-paper-citing-misconduct-probe/).

      An anonymous reader of this story has posted the following comment about a paper Dr. Damodaran published in your journal:

      “Take a look at the paper by Mansoor Ahmed and colleagues published in J Biol Chem 277(3):2234-46, 2002. The images on the left side of figure 11A are identical but they are purported to be untreated (top) or irradiated cells (bottom). Damodaran Chendil is the 3rd author on this one.
      http://www.jbc.org/content/277/3/2234/F11.expansion.html.

      Sometimes I find myself wondering if it is worthwhile finding examples like this and posting them to Retraction Watch if the journal is never informed. Adam and Ivan, perhaps you should consider a ‘fill in the blank’ style interface on the website where readers can enter the pertinent information and click submit to notify the editor….’Dear Sir, a reader (name/affiliation) of our blog Retraction Watch wishes to bring to your attention….’

      Is it a problem when the number of retractions you’ve incited surpasses the number of papers you’ve published?”

      I would recommend your journal read the comments about this article on the Retraction Watch website and act on any reasonable concerns these comments may raise.

      Sincerely,
      Sierra Rayne”

      Sierra Rayne

      October 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    • Thanks, FigureSleuth, for the suggestion. It’s a good one; requires some thinking about how it would work and whether editors would respond to people who were not willing to share their names and/or affiliations. We don’t think people should have to, by the way; we think that alleged facts should be checked out no matter what the source. However, it’s become clear that many editors will not entertain anonymous criticisms.

      And thanks to everyone else who has contributed to this thread, and wondered about the role of Retraction Watch in such investigations. We’d love to be able to dig into potentially dodgy papers more, and we have when we’ve had the time. It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to look into every such paper, however, since our hands are quite full just writing about the hundreds of retractions every year. We don’t even get to all of those, so in terms of potentially retractable papers, we’ve focused on the mostly likely targets given the histories of the authors. We do that with your help, as we make clear as often as possible in hat tips and other ways. So we’d encourage those who post questions about figures, data, and text on these threads to contact the editors, as some of you already have, and let us know what happens. We’ll help out as often as we can.

      Thanks again for all of your contributions.

      ivanoransky

      October 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      • thanks Ivan..retraction watch is already doing great service. I think if every individual takes interest in such cases – we can do some justice to the world. Looking at the progress of most of the cases discussed, it is clear that these individuals are successful in publishing as well as attracting sufficient funding. How? if misconduct is proved, the progress in the field is back to zero…

        Not Surprising

        October 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      • Ivan is correct. The best investigators in science are those in the general community of ethical scientists. The more eyes and inquiries the better.

        Ideally – as long as Ivan and Adam do not mind – more readers should pore over Damodaran’s papers and post any and all concerns on this page. Over time, an arsenal of evidence accumulates that becomes difficult for institutions and journals to ignore. The evidence presented on this page should, though, be factual. No rumors, heresay, or gossip unless the poster witnessed something in person and is willing to provide his/her full and real name as well.

        Sierra Rayne

        October 29, 2011 at 8:26 pm

  28. @Scotus and FigureSleuth: I had commented earlier that there will be more papers with irregularities from this group as well as from his former boss Dr. mansoor ahmed…Yes, people will be aware of these thing, only if they read retraction watch. I guess Abnormal Science, on the other hand, contacts Editors of the journals if they find any data manipulation (after placing them on the blog). Retraction Watch – I am not sure whether retraction watch does that – because mostly they report retracted papers, if I understand correctly.

    Not Suprising

    October 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

  29. @scotus and Figuresleuth: wonderful job in finding out more details about this case…

    Not Suprising

    October 29, 2011 at 10:42 am

  30. NIH grant reporting site (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/reporter.cfm) indicates that he currently has multi-million dollar active grant fundings from NIH. Unbelievable! It seems he has been receiving over a million dollars each year!

    wonder

    October 29, 2011 at 11:32 am

    • From an earlier post by Not Surprising: ” I am surprised that he could get job again after leaving Kentucky”.
      I think this answers that question.

      elledr1ver

      October 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      • I was aware of this too. With a reasonable suspicion of data manipulation in his published work one can only speculate what he might be willing to present in a grant proposal.
        Another obvious issue to look into would be the possibility that some of his “discoveries” (or his mentor’s “discoveries”) about herbal cures for cancer have led to case controlled clinical studies.
        Although Duke were slow to act in the Potti case (and terrible errors of judgment were made in ignoring the concerns raised by the MD Anderson group) at least once it became clear that there was widespread research misconduct Potti was suspended, his lab was shut down and his grants terminated before he could attempt to relocate.
        This mess could take a long time to resolve, particularly if Kentucky only identified one questionable paper and didn’t insist on retaining his original research records when he left (although of course not having the records is not a defense).
        Texas Tech at El Paso barely has any research, let alone a research integrity office that could take this on effectively.

        Scotus

        October 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      • I think the issue is that the suspected misconduct all happened while he was at U. Kentucky os its their responsibility to investigate which will be harder to do now that he’s left. Unless he is particularly industrious he probably hasn’t done anything wrong at Texas Tech (yet).

        Scotus

        October 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm

        • In general, misconduct which took place at other institutions affects whether or not a CV submitted to the current institution, and upon which the hiring committee made its decision, was truthful. Fraudulent publications in the past (regardless of the institution at which they occurred) translate into a fraudulent CV, which translates into reasonable grounds for immediate employment termination. For any institution to ignore and/or overlook such issues brings into disrepute all academic hiring practices, and serves to encourage – and in fact reward – further behavior of this kind in science.

          There appear to already exist sufficient grounds for this process based on the existing retraction described in the article above. If science, and academia, cannot effectively ‘police’ such issues effectively, public monetary support of such disciplines and/or institutions should cease.

          Sierra Rayne

          October 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      • Obviously he will have some explaining to do to Texas Tech. My point is that the research records (ie primary original data) relating to the published work that is being questioned here were generated at Kentucky and should have remained at Kentucky when he left. It would be worth contacting the research integrity office at Kentucky to ask if they anticipate further retractions as a result of their investigation into Dr Chendil. It would make everything go a lot faster if they have already identified any of problems being brought to light here. This appears to be the institutional research integrity officer:

        Ada Sue Selwitz
        Director, Office of Research Integrity
        selwitz@uky.edu
        859-257-2978

        Scotus

        October 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm

        • I think we would all like further information, but this institution will not respond to any of our inquiries as this matter is likely either currently under litigation of some sort, or runs a major risk of being litigated. The journals are the proper forum for this now for the ‘outsiders’. And retractions in the journals may be independent of what goes on at the university. If readers find problems and notify the journal, the journal should (read: must, if they want to remain credible over time) act on them regardless of what the institution desires. Most of the issues raised on this page regarding the publications under question do not need a university investigation to resolve. I am not a ‘blotologist’, but if enough experts in this field say that it is statistically impossible for multiple images in a publication to be effective replicates of each other, then that meets the good enough standard for retraction.

          And, in general, if a PI lists a publication on his/her CV as part of a job application, and that publication (and it need only be one paper) is later shown to be fabricated in whole or in part with the knowledge of the PI, then – in my view – the job application contained false information, which should lead to instant dismissal without severance.

          Texas Tech should be investigating this issue fully and transparently starting now. It is probably a good institution, and these types of issues will diminish its credibility across the board unless resolved appropriately in the public’s view.

          Sierra Rayne

          October 29, 2011 at 8:17 pm

  31. I don’t think Ivan wants this place to become “Research miconduct witch hunt central”.
    Unfortunately its not possible to have a blog focussing on understanding retractions as part of the scientific process without having to also deal with the behind the scenes drama that accompsnies them.

    Scotus

    October 29, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  32. I sent the following e-mail this morning to the Oncogene journal office and to the institutional e-mail of the Editor-in-Chief (Douglas R. Green):

    “Dear Dr. Green:

    The website Retraction Watch ( http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/) has run a recent story about a former researcher from the University of Kentucky, Dr. Chendil Damodaran, and a retracted paper of his in the journal Cancer Prevention Research ( http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/cancer-journal-retracts-herbal-medicine-paper-citing-misconduct-probe/).

    An anonymous reader of this story has posted the following comment about a paper Dr. Damodaran published in your journal:

    “Looking for a textbook example of creative photoshopping ? Check out the Damodaran Chendil paper entitled ‘Curcumin confers radiosensitizing effect in prostate cancer cell line PC-3′ published in Oncogene (2004) 23, 1599–1607. http://www.nature.com.gate2.inist.fr/onc/journal/v23/n8/pdf/1207284a.pdf

    Lanes 1-6 of the EMSA in Figure 2A serve as the backdrop for the EMSA in Figure 3B. Look closely and you’ll see that lanes 7 and 8 of Figure 3B are pasted on top of what was Figure 2A. How did something this obvious make it through peer-review (in consecutive Figures, no less). I’ll admit that I can’t figure out exactly what was done here… can someone help explain the similarities between the right hand lanes of both figures, are they different exposures of the same film ? An aside… the blot in Figure 2B is hilarious, absolutely nothing suspect about it at all!”

    I would recommend your journal read the comments about this article on the Retraction Watch website and act on any reasonable concerns these comments may raise.

    Sincerely,
    Sierra Rayne”

    Sierra Rayne

    October 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    • Paper: “Curcumin confers radiosensitizing effect in prostate cancer cell line PC-3′ published in Oncogene (2004) 23, 1599–1607″

      The author above clearly explains ignorance of the scientific merit: “I’ll admit that I can’t figure out exactly what was done here…”

      The following explanation for the figure 2A & 3B is also very questionable and again a clear case of witch hunt:: This is again b/c Figure 2A (10 lanes) is the explanation of “Figure 2: Neutralizing antibody to TNF-a or AD5-IkB superrepressor inhibits radiation-induced NFkB activity leading to repression of Bcl-2 protein in PC-3 cells” and the Figure 3B (8 lanes and YOU CAN ALSO SEE THE ENDING OF THE MOBILITY SHIFT EDGE OF THE GEL PICTURE) “Figure 3 Curcumin downregulates radiation-induced NFkB
      activity and Bcl-2 protein expression”.

      {Lanes 1-6 of the EMSA in Figure 2A serve as the backdrop for the EMSA in Figure 3B. Look closely and you’ll see that lanes 7 and 8 of Figure 3B are pasted on top of what was Figure 2A. How did something this obvious make it through peer-review (in consecutive Figures, no less). I’ll admit that I can’t figure out exactly what was done here… can someone help explain the similarities between the right hand lanes of both figures, are they different exposures of the same film ? An aside… the blot in Figure 2B is hilarious, absolutely nothing suspect about it at all!”}

      The dots that appear on the lane 2 & 10 in figure 2A are appearing again on lane 2 and “lane 8″ surprisingly on figure 3B. EVEN WITH PHOTOSHOP YOU CAN’T DO THAT, ABOVE AUTHOR CAN YOU EXPLAIN??????

      And the figure 2B is also the same case of different treatments…

      Please correct me if I’m wrong… Again I’m NOT condoning the frauds and junk science… Lets see/do/and read good science… THANKS..

      Muchchad

      November 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      • Do you have any affiliation with the authors in question and/or their institutions? The message I sent was reasonably relayed to the journal editors, who can investigate the matter if they wish. Where any misconduct is shown (as appears to have already been the case at the University of Kentucky), perhaps a little “witch hunt” is healthy in science, given how much nonsense routinely goes on. All their papers should be rigorously investigated.

        Sierra Rayne

        November 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      • @Muchchad: Please respond to Sierra Rayne’s question. This was vigourously discussed earlier and so many irregularities were revealed. Why the other paper was retracted then? Why Univ of Kentucky investigated Dr. Damodaran? Did you ask them? There is no witch hunt here. I just searched Dr. Damodaran’s name on google. Look what I found out..he is chairing a session Dr. S. Anant who is working in a similar area (i checked on pubmed) in one of the prestigious indian meetings – Indian Science Congress – that too on cancer stem cells… I guess the organisers may not know about this case yet….http://www.isc2012.com/ISC-Janary20.pdf

        Not Surprising

        November 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    • NO Sierra Rayne… I dont have any affiliation with the institute or any of these people!! I’ll be in the forefront to blow the whistle if that happens when I’m around and I’ve paid the price for doing that already. But I never cared!! However, I know how biology research is done and I’ve been doing the cancer biology research for the past 18 yrs. Its really illogical if you’re asking me the question about my affiliation with anyone for that matter… It also shows that you dont read the papers’ results along with the paper figures to make sense of the data; for that you need to have the understanding of the mechanisms and the analysis. I can understand non-scientific people’s frustration about the scientific research!!! I thought you’re different but you’ve proved yourself otherwise by asking such question??? Well, I was expecting such a question but NOT from you. You’re also right that “witch hunt” is necessary but blind “witch hunt” is as good as doing bad science. Do you do any SCIENTIFIC research at all, or you just run a blog??? Just a simple suggestion to you: Next time dont just blindly respond to the comments but also read the papers and understand the content of the paper and its direction… you may not need it but still when you run a blog, probably you should look from all the sides!!! One more thing is that the misconduct that was reported could be b/c of anything, may be this paper is to scare Chendil into submitting to the higher-ups b/c of the money he was getting in terms of grants or projects!! WHO KNOWS??? DOES ANYONE KNOW OR CARE TO KNOW OR INVESTIGATE??? Its all hear say!!! Are we NOT seeing such things in every branch of specialized learning not just biology research!!

      Muchchad

      November 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      • Can’t say I know what you are talking about. I have not commented upon any of these papers on my blog, only on this site.

        As for immature comments such as “Do you do any SCIENTIFIC research at all, or you just run a blog???”, perhaps you should do your homework (you’d find I do) first before babbling if you want any credibility on this site. Do you do any scientific research? If so, please give me some citations. And did you read my e-mail to the journal editor above? What is wrong with passing along comments in such a manner? If the authors in question did nothing wrong, then they have nothing to worry about. This website serves an invaluable role among the scientific community, and editors should be reading all comments on this page (and other pages that are relevant to them).

        And try using your real name if you want to attack various people on this site, as you have today. I see I had a web visit from someone at the University of Miami today. Is that you? Or someone at the University of Kentucky that visited my site? For all we know you are someone closely involved (and potentially at risk of discovery of misconduct) to the work above.

        Sierra Rayne

        November 14, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      • nice response, Sierra Rayne. i am a bit puzzled by the way people respond. They should read all the facts discussed here…

        Not Surprising

        November 15, 2011 at 2:49 am

        • Who knows what “Muchchad” is trying to say. By how worked up he/she is, and the statements regarding the works in question, it seems clear to me he/she is closely connected to the case and is attempting a PR effort here.

          Muchchad’s rants about other people on this page being ‘jealous’, etc., are jibberish. As far as I can tell, most comments on this page (and on Retraction Watch in general) are bona fide, and raise legitimate issues that should be discussed openly. There are a few ‘quacks’ now and then, and most almost all the ‘quacks’ I’ve seen on this site are on the side of ‘defending’ those with retracted papers or those with ethical allegations against them.

          The simple answer out of all this is for the authors in question to come on this site and address all concerns raised. That seems most reasonable and responsible. If the investigation at Kentucky was improperly conducted, rigged, and/or biased, then someone involved can come here and make this statement and answer questions. Similarly, other concerns can be discussed as well.

          Sierra Rayne

          November 15, 2011 at 9:38 am

  33. I sent the following e-mail this morning to the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal office and to the institutional e-mail of the Editor-in-Chief (Daniel D. Von Hoff):

    “Dear Dr. Von Hoff:

    The website Retraction Watch ( http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/) has run a recent story about a former researcher from the University of Kentucky, Dr. Chendil Damodaran, and a retracted paper of his in the journal Cancer Prevention Research (http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/cancer-journal-retracts-herbal-medicine-paper-citing-misconduct-probe/).

    An anonymous reader of this story has posted the following comment about a paper Dr. Damodaran published in your journal:

    “In this paper: Koduru et al., Mol Cancer Ther, 2010 9; 202

    Figure 1, Panel A Notch-1 blot for HCT-116 and SW-620 are the same.
    Figure 2, Panel A GAPDH blot HCT-116 (lanes UT, 3, 6, 12) is the same as Figure 3, Panel A GAPDH blot HCT-116 (lanes UT, 6, 12 24)

    Tip of the iceberg?”

    I would recommend your journal read the comments about this article on the Retraction Watch website and act on any reasonable concerns these comments may raise.

    Sincerely,
    Sierra Rayne”

    Sierra Rayne

    October 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    • There are more irregularities for this paper (Koduru et al., Mol Cancer Ther, 2010 9; 202).

      Figure 2, Panel A GAPDH blots for SW-480 and SW 620 (lanes UT, 3, 6, 12) are the same as
      Figure 3, Panel A GAPDH blots for SW-480 and SW 620 (lanes UT, 6, 12 24), respectively.

      Figure 4, Panel A 4E-BP1 blot for HCT-116 (left two lanes, Vet-UT and Vet-WA) is the same as Panel B 4E-BP1 blot for HCT-116 (siRNA-NT and siRNA-Notch1). The same thing occurs for 4E-BP1 blots in SW-620 cells as well.

      Figure 4, Panel A, SW-620 Notch-1 blot and Hey-1 blot look suspiciously similar, likely from the same blot with different exposure.

      MagicEye

      October 29, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      • I am not supporting/condoning Chendil or anyone who does manipulation in science and they should severely be punished, but It looks like a witch hunt: The reason I say this is b/c if there is really something fishy it MUST be reported and otherwise the above MagicEye has just a case of very bad jaundiced eyes..

        Figure 2, Panel A GAPDH blots for SW-480 and SW 620 (lanes UT, 3, 6, 12) are the same as
        Figure 3, Panel A GAPDH blots for SW-480 and SW 620 (lanes UT, 6, 12 24), respectively.

        Both the above figures have same loading control GAPDH and same cell lines but different time points and if you run the western blot at same time in the same gel space (you can have about 15 wells in the western gel) you see them as the same bands, b/c the samples loaded are same and they run down the SDS-PAGE in a very same way; in other words we should see them as the same bands in all the figures.. So obviously in the heat of blaming Chendil blindly, people are forgetting the simple case of truth, which is same cell lines (SW-480 & 620) and same loading control- GAPDH…

        For the following figure (Figure 4, Panel A, SW-620 Notch-1 blot and Hey-1 blot look suspiciously similar, likely from the same blot with different exposure), many times, the proteins that you’re trying to look for will have similar expression patterns…

        For the following figure (Figure 4, Panel A 4E-BP1 blot for HCT-116 (left two lanes, Vet-UT and Vet-WA) is the same as Panel B 4E-BP1 blot for HCT-116 (siRNA-NT and siRNA-Notch1). The same thing occurs for 4E-BP1 blots in SW-620 cells as well), two different treatments, by WA and siRNA of Notch-1, probably do not effect the expression of 4E-BP1. Please read the results…

        I sincerely want to know how MagicEye can assume or even think that same cells and proteins and loading controls can have a different look for different figures… Please explain MagicEye… Are you a researcher??? I sincerely doubt it… I’ll take my words back if anyone who does research explains this and I’ll also apologize, for sure…

        Muchchad

        November 14, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    • Hi Sierra,

      Have you stopped following the status of this retraction request? Please continue your excellent work. Thanks.

      Yana Zeig

      Yana Zeig

      December 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

  34. This is also interesting.
    Dr Chendil appears to have received a supplement to one of his NIH grants to support a “complementary and alternative medicine” practitioner:
    http://nccam.nih.gov/grants/types/supplements/support.htm
    AT002890-01A2 Novel Herbal Medicine for The Treatment of Prostate Cancer Damodaran, Chendil University of Kentucky KY
    This underscores one of my points made above that its possible some aspects of his questionable basic research led to potentially unwarranted clinical studies.

    Scotus

    October 29, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    • This is going to be really challenging. I browsed through the above list of NIH grants on complementary and alternative medicine and found another name in the field – Dr. Santosh K Katiyar working on similar area but on skin cancer. Just click on his profile and he also has funding worth – more than 4 million dollars. I hear from my US/North American friends that funding is very tight and these individuals can get easy funding…Do they have friends at the Study Sections? Look at the publication list of Dr. Katiyar – it calculates to be more than 10 papers per year as PI…
      @Scotus and Sierra Rayne: thanks for probing into Dr Damodaran and Ahmed case. These bunch of people have very good network within North America…otherwise, funding and publications are not that easy…As you both, i started to worry whether retraction watch is the right place for this?

      Not Surprising

      October 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm

      • Please respond to Sierra Rayne’s question. – SURPRISINGLY YOU DIDN’T SEE THAT I’VE REPLIED TO SIERRA RAYNE..

        This was vigourously discussed earlier and so many irregularities were revealed. NO IT IS NOT.. ONLY “DISCUSSED” AND THE DOUBTS EXPRESSED WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE ACTUAL DATA, SURPRISINGLY!! AND THE MUD SLINGING OCCURRED!!!

        Why the other paper was retracted then? DON’T KNOW, SURPRISINGLY!! BUT FOR SURE IT IS NOT JUST WRONG SCIENTIFIC DATA… YOU CAN ACTUALLY THINK ABOUT IT AND TRY TO KNOW ABOUT IT FOR A FACT INSTEAD OF BLIND “WITCH HUNTING”, YES YOU’VE HEARD IT RIGHT, BLINDLY WITCH HUNTING

        Why Univ of Kentucky investigated Dr. Damodaran? DON’T KNOW WHY ACTUALLY. MAY BE ALSO “B/C OF SOME BAD FIGURES!!!!!!! READ THE ABOVE REPLY ALSO…

        Did you ask them? I DON’T NEED TO AS I’M IN NO WAY CONNECTED TO THAT UNIVERSITY AND I’M NOT THE POLICING AUTHORITY OR THE GRANT COMMITTEE TO GIVE GRANTS AND PLEASE ALSO SEE WHAT I WROTE IN RESPONSE TO SIERRA RAYNE!!!

        There is no witch hunt here. UP UNTIL NOW THAT’S ALL THERE IS HERE ON THIS “BLOG” AND NO ONE TALKED ABOUT THE FIGURES OR THE ACTUAL EXPLANATION OF THE PAPER (S) IN QUESTION.. JUST SEARCHED AND MUD WAS THROWN AT THE AUTHOR (S) OF THOSE PAPERS..

        I just searched Dr. Damodaran’s name on google. Look what I found out..he is chairing a session Dr. S. Anant who is working in a similar area (i checked on pubmed) – SOOOOOOOOOO?? WHO IS THIS DR. S. ANANT???

        in one of the prestigious indian meetings – Indian Science Congress – that too on cancer stem cells… I guess the organisers may not know about this case yet….http://www.isc2012.com/ISC-Janary20.pdf……… WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY?????? NO CONNECTION WHATSOEVER!! WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY OR THAT YOU’RE SURPRISED IS – THIS CHENDIL AUTHOR IS GETTING BETTER TREATMENT AT SOME “INDIAN SCIENCE (??) CONGRESS (NO GOOD RESEARCH COMES FROM ANY OF THOSE SO-CALLED CHINA/INDIA/ OR SUB-CONTINENT RESEARCH CENTERS)” AND PROBABLY JEALOUS OR OVER-WORKED!!!

        SURPRISINGLY YOUR ABOVE STATEMENTS ARE SHOWING NO DIRECTION AND/OR ILLOGICAL, THE MOST.. NO CONTENT.. COULD YOU PLEASE TAKE SOME TIME TO READ MY DOUBTS AND ANSWER PLEASE.. B/C IF YOU DIDN’T READ THE PAPERS, YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHY THE DATA WAS PRESENTED AND FOR WHAT REASONS, SO PLEASE READ ALL THE PAPERS IN QUESTION TO FIND ABOUT THE FAKE RESEARCHERS WHO ARE STEALING THE MONEY FROM, WHOEVER THAT IS!!! I’M WITH ANYONE 100%, IF EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO FIND OUT ABOUT THESE CHEATERS OR FRAUDS!! THANK YOU..

        NOTE: SORRY FOR THE CAPITAL LETTERS, THE COMPUTER’S CAPS-LOCK IS STUCK..

        Muchchad

        November 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm

  35. This case seems to be widely commented in the last couple of weeks – the other case is Dr. Melendez from NUS, Singapore. Can any insiders shed some light on these cases? We are sitting outside and assuming things..

    Not Surprising

    October 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    • There are quite a few comments on RW’s articles about Melendez’s figures in his papers (or links to pages which explain, with illustrations, many of the manipulations). I am unsure though what the specific allegations are. If any of them concern the papers that were mentioned on this one site (it was in Japanese which is a language I do not understand, but you know the saying regarding pictures), I believe that the outcome for Melendez is already a foregone conclusion, in my opinion.

      Brad Casali

      October 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      • @Brad Casali: please use this link
        http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/category/by-author/alirio-melendez/
        I am not sure how you get japanese version. the above case was discussed heaving before Damodaran case..just go through, i don’t think it is a done deal yet!!

        Not Surprising

        October 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      • @Not Surprising: I should clarify. I was referring to a website in one of comments on the Melendez story on RW. One linked to a Japanese site that illustrated a lot of the alleged falsifications in the Melendez papers.

        Brad Casali

        October 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm

  36. 77 comments so far…78 with my comment.

    This thread definitely blew up.

    Brad Casali

    October 29, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    • up to 79 … if others keep looking into his prior publications, I am sure we could hit triple-digits.

      Sierra Rayne

      October 29, 2011 at 9:41 pm

  37. “Not Suprising” mentioned Mansoor Ahmed. His CV (reasonably recent) is available online at http://www.uluonk.org/uluonkCV/mansor.pdf

    Sierra Rayne

    October 29, 2011 at 10:02 pm

  38. Here are three more papers with duplicated blots from Chendil Damodaran’s group.

    In Koduru et al., BMC Cancer. 2009 Jan 30;9:41
    Figure 3, Cdk-4 blot for MCF-7 is the same as Cdk-4 blot for MDA-231.
    Figure 3, Cdk-2 blot for MDA-231 is the same as Cyclin E blot for MDA-231 (flip vertically).

    In Srinivasan et al., Apoptosis. 2010 Feb;15(2):153-161.
    Figure 3, Figure 4, Panel A, the FasL blot for PC-3 is the same the FADD blot for DU-145.

    In Srinivasan et al., Int J Cancer. 2009 Aug 15;125(4):961-967.
    Figure 1, Panel A, B-actin blots for MCF-7 and MCF Her-2 cells are same (flip horizontally).
    Figure 3, panel A, MEK-4 blots for MCF-7 and MCF Her-2 cells are same.

    MagicEye

    October 29, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    • In the Koduru paper I think you mean that the Cdk-4 blot for MCF-7 is the same as the Cdk-6 blot for MDA-231.
      This is all so blatant.

      Scotus

      October 30, 2011 at 7:00 am

      • Thanks for the correction.

        MagicEye

        October 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    • Ionizing radiation down-regulates p53 protein in primary Egr-1-/- mouse embryonic fibroblast cells causing enhanced resistance to apoptosis.

      Das A, Chendil D, Dey S, Mohiuddin M, Mohiuddin M, Milbrandt J, Rangnekar VM, Ahmed MM.

      J Biol Chem. 2001 Feb 2;276(5):3279-86.

      http://www.jbc.org/content/276/5/3279/F7.large.jpg

      In this figure the right MDM2 blot image is clearly spliced together while the actin “control” blot is not.

      Scotus

      October 30, 2011 at 8:46 am

      • beta-actin bands are same for egr-/- and egr+/- samples…

        Not Surprising

        October 30, 2011 at 8:58 am

      • I’m not sure if the actin blots are the same but whatever the case the MDM2 blot is clearly two separate blots spliced together so it seems unlikely to say the least that the actin blot comes from the same gel(s).

        Scotus

        October 30, 2011 at 9:51 am

  39. He is on the editorial board of the ‘Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis’ (http://www.omicsonline.org/EditorialboardJCM.php#).

    wonder

    October 29, 2011 at 10:57 pm

  40. Dr. Damodaran was a Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (now know as Susan G Komen for the Cure award winner in 2005 – 2006.
    http://ww5.komen.org/Bio.aspx?gn=BCTR0600511&c=bctr&cycle=2005-2006
    Can some one alert Susan G Komen for the Cure? This is getting serious.

    Not Surprising

    October 29, 2011 at 11:11 pm

  41. Although this article (Can Prev Res 2009) was retracted for Figure 3A (a bizarrely specific retraction), there appear to be problems in Fig. 2 as well. The blot in 2A, PC-3 Akt (left panel middle lanes) 3, 6, 12, and 24 hrs looks the same (with minor exposure changes) to 2C, Pso GSK3alpha/beta (left panel, bottom lanes) Veh, 30, 60, and 80 uM.

    elledr1ver

    October 30, 2011 at 8:57 am

  42. A partial list of papers by Damodaran that will require review by experienced eyes (a few have been mentioned and discussed already; the URLs are between the ):

    1. Curcumin confers radiosensitizing effect in prostate cancer cell line PC-3,
    2. Ionizing Radiation Down-regulates p53 Protein in Primary Egr-1−/− Mouse Embryonic Fibroblast Cells Causing Enhanced Resistance to Apoptosis,
    3. Restoration of Transforming Growth Factor-β Signaling Enhances Radiosensitivity by Altering the Bcl-2/Bax Ratio in the p53 Mutant Pancreatic Cancer Cell Line MIA PaCa-2,
    4. Low-Dose Fractionated Radiation Potentiates the Effects of Paclitaxel in Wild-type and Mutant p53 Head and Neck Tumor Cell Lines
    5. Uterine sarcomas express KIT protein but lack mutation(s) in exon 11 or 17 of c-KIT,
    6. Par-4-Dependent Apoptosis by the Dietary Compound Withaferin A in Prostate Cancer Cells,
    7. Farnesyltransferase inhibitor (L-744,832) restores TGF-type II receptor expression and enhances radiation sensitivity in K-ras mutant pancreatic cancer cell line MIA PaCa-2,
    8. Par-4, A Pro-Apoptotic Gene, Inhibits Radiation-Induced NFκB Activity and Bcl-2 Expression Leading to Induction of Radiosensitivity in Human Prostate Cancer Cells PC-3,
    9. Low dose fractionated radiation enhances the radiosensitization effect of paclitaxel in colorectal tumor cells with mutant p53,
    10. Hidden monosomy 7 in acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome detected by interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization,

    Sierra Rayne

    October 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

  43. 11. Influence of p53 status on radiation and 5-flourouracil synergy in pancreatic cancer cells, <ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/12014658
    12. Didox (a novel ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor) overcomes Bcl-2 mediated radiation resistance in prostate cancer cell line PC-3,
    13. Sensitization of Pancreatic Tumor Xenografts to Carmustine and Temozolomide by Inactivation of Their O6-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase with O6-Benzylguanine or O6-Benzyl-2′-Deoxyguanosine,
    14. Diosgenin targets Akt-mediated prosurvival signaling in human breast cancer cells,
    15. Investigation on Semecarpus Lehyam—a Siddha medicine for breast cancer,
    16. Early Growth Response-1 Gene: Potential Radiation Response Gene Marker in Prostate Cancer,
    17. Mithramycin Analogues Generated by Combinatorial Biosynthesis Show Improved Bioactivity,
    18. Increased expression of PSA mRNA during brachytherapy in peripheral blood of patients with prostate cancer,
    19. Anticancer Mechanism of Plumbagin, a Natural Compound, on Non-small Cell Lung Cancer Cells,
    20. Rasagenthi lehyam (RL) a novel complementary and alternative medicine for prostate cancer,

    Sierra Rayne

    October 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

  44. 21. Notch-1 Inhibition by Withaferin-A: A Therapeutic Target against Colon Carcinogenesis,
    22. A herbal medicine for the treatment of lung cancer,
    23. Psoralidin, an Herbal Molecule, Inhibits Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase–Mediated Akt Signaling in Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer Cells,
    24. Inhibiting TNF-mediated signaling: a novel therapeutic paradigm for androgen independent prostate cancer,
    25. Identification of a potent herbal molecule for the treatment of breast cancer,
    26. Restoration of TGF- Signaling Enhances Radiosensitivity by Altering the Bcl-2:Bax Ratio in the p53 Mutant Pancreatic Cancer Cell Line MIA PaCa-2,
    27. Identification of urushiols as the major active principle of the Siddha herbal medicine Semecarpus Lehyam: Anti-tumor agents for the treatment of breast cancer,
    28. Landomycins P−W, Cytotoxic Angucyclines from Streptomyces cyanogenus S-136,
    29. Identification of a potent herbal molecule for the treatment of breast cancer,
    30. Activating Stress-Activated Protein Kinase–Mediated Cell Death and Inhibiting Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signaling: A Promising Therapeutic Strategy for Prostate Cancer,

    Sierra Rayne

    October 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  45. 31. Aplysinopsin analogs: Synthesis and anti-proliferative activity of substituted (Z)-5-(N-benzylindol-3-ylmethylene)imidazolidine-2,4-diones,
    32. 11-Deoxylandomycinone and landomycins X-Z, new cytotoxic angucyclin(on)es from a Streptomyces cyanogenus K62 mutant strain,
    33. Psoralidin, an Herbal Molecule, Inhibits Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase–Mediated Akt Signaling in Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer Cells,

    Sierra Rayne

    October 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

  46. The URLs of each paper were ‘omitted’ by whatever software processes the comments on this site.

    Sierra Rayne

    October 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

  47. Another paper contains duplicated blots. Gomathinayagam R, Sowmyalakshmi S, Mardhatillah F, Kumar R, Akbarsha MA, Damodaran C. Anticancer Res. 2008 Mar-Apr; 28(2A):785-92.
    Figure 3, Panel B, the beta-actin blot from cytosol is the same as the alpha-tubulin blot from nucleus (with some stretch and adjustment of contract/brightness).

    MagicEye

    October 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm

  48. This “poor” Indian guy must be shaking in his boots..
    His multimillion NIH funding shows that the “fake it until you make it” approach works well in the current science culture

    MT Orr

    October 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

  49. There appears to be sufficient evidence accumulating in this thread that Damodaran’s colleagues, notably Mansoor Ahmed at the University of Miami (http://sylvester.org/research/research-knowledgebase/scientist?name=m_ahmed), also need to be investigated.

    Sierra Rayne

    October 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    • Then someone needs to alert University of Miami..

      MT Orr

      October 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    • Investigated for what? All we know is that some papers with Damodaran’s name on them (be it first, middle, or last) contain some questionable data. At this stage, all we know is that there is something seriously wrong with his papers. We don’t know if it was just Damodaran or a combination of him and others.

      At this stage, I think it’s important to limit the possibility of other involvement and stick with the name that is shared among all the papers (in this case, Damodaran). In other words, the most likely explanation is probably the answer.

      Brad Casali

      October 30, 2011 at 8:31 pm

  50. What I would recommend is that the evidence needs to accumulate more on this page against both Damodaran and Ahmed (and any others affiliated with them – there could be substantial problems within groups that ‘collaborated’ with these two individuals as well). Keep posting the comments in the style of MagicEye and the FigureSleuth/FigureSleuthette tandem. It is easy to keep track of these types of comments and then collate them together ‘at the end’.

    Damodaran’s papers are listed above. We have evidence only against a few of them – the rest should be ‘screened’. Same goes with Ahmed. This may take a week or two to do, but it will ensure the greatest likelihood of the proper result.

    Sierra Rayne

    October 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm

  51. Damodaran is also unfortunately supported by the U.S. Military research grant system as well: http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA426172

    Sierra Rayne

    October 30, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    • If there is evidence of fabrication in the paper included in the appendix then they need to know about this

      MT Orr

      October 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      • Of course, and they will be notified, as will Texas Tech and the University of Miami. But a strong comprehensive case must be built here.

        Sierra Rayne

        October 30, 2011 at 4:37 pm

  52. amazing!! comments are triple digits already!! I am not mentioning names here…there seems to be a bunch of people – whom I know of – in very close circle of the above two groups. they tend to bond together and help each other in securing grants, publications etc. Indeed, I heard that clinical studies are underway in MD Anderson and Albert Einstein Medical College (Montefiore Medical Center), Prevention and Cancer Control, University of Kansas School of Medicine with radiation oncology and other departments using some of the above compounds…..watch out. I wish I could disclose my identity. With due respect to Sierra Rayne, I am not ready yet to do this. I need some more time…I have already compiled a list of names for future investigations…hopefully some one will post something on them as well…Apologies.

    Not Surprising

    October 30, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    • Anonymity is sometimes required.

      Unfortunately, most of science now operates with these types of groups that ‘bond together’, help secure grants, publications, etc. It’s all put under the corrupt face of ‘networking’. There is a lot of it in my discipline as well.

      Overall, there may be only one way out of it – defund junk science and distribute scientific funding across a lot more researchers, as well as eliminate much of the purported ‘peer review’ in science. Peer review is largely a joke – it is tantamount to entrusting students in a class to fairly mark each others exams if they knew there was no oversight mechanism (i.e., they wouldn’t – they would take out personal disputes, etc., on each other’s marks – just as we currently do in science).

      Sierra Rayne

      October 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    • One has to wonder to what degree prior data fabrication contributes to the high failure rate of clinical trials
      One also needs to realize that at this level we are dealing with real life and false hope to suffering human beings
      Such snake oil salesmen need to be exposed and isolated; they are simply criminals

      MT Orr

      October 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      • Perhaps the high rate of failure of clinical trials tells us more about the gullibility of the public and the granting agencies they donate to. Perhaps these agencies are effectively getting what they deserve by not funding real scientists, and the public is getting what they deserve by continuing to pour money into a system that provides little results and from which they demand negligible accountability. Caveat emptor applies. I’m glad none of my tax dollars went to this nonsense.

        There are no easy answers on cancer research, climate science, alternative energy, nanotechnology, and the other well-funded (read: over-funded) areas of ‘applied science’ that attract snake oil salesman, and the fools who fund them.

        Sierra Rayne

        October 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm

      • The other issue to look into would be the possibility that there are intellectual property issues relating to some of the Chendil et al “discoveries”. Some of the “herbal” compounds are quite widely studied so I doubt this is the case but if these authors stood to profit from development of therapeutics it would provide another motive for the apparent deception.

        Time for someone to delve into the patent literature…

        Scotus

        October 30, 2011 at 8:11 pm

  53. These people were very instrumental in the eventual exposure of the Anil Potti cancer research scandal.
    http://www.cancerletter.com/
    I’m not sure they are going to get involved in scrutinizing basic research thats mostly published in lower tier journals but if some of the allegedly fraudulent research is the basis for clinical trials then thats something they would definitely be interested in.

    Scotus

    October 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    • Unfortunately, the cancer research field is so awash in scandals and fraudulent behavior that this case is likely irrelevant in the overall scheme of things. A reasonable perspective could be “so we wasted a few million on this project, big deal, we’ve wasted billions on other projects”. I am guessing the number of scandals in this field outnumber the number of investigations by a substantial margin.

      Sierra Rayne

      October 30, 2011 at 9:17 pm

  54. I looked at a number of the past publications and, as mentioned above for the retracted manuscript, the error in the bar graphs (I assume SEM) is incredibly small (especially for an N=3). Of course, this observation is not definitive like the image data. Nonetheless, I’ve not seen data this tight in a biological experiment in > 30 years of doing experiments.

    elledr1ver

    October 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm

  55. In these types of publications featured on this site, there is always going to be a choice: (1) go after the academic and journal publishing aspects, or (2) go after the ‘social justice’, money trail, IP, etc. aspects. Route #2 is difficult to tackle, largely hidden behind confidential ‘firewalls’, and will probably be pursued in litigation down the road once the individuals who provided the money realize ‘they have been duped’.

    Since the academic journals are supposed to be ‘open’, route #1 can be tackled publicly and effectively.

    Sierra Rayne

    October 30, 2011 at 9:47 pm

  56. Thanks Sierra Rayne for pointing to the link with Dr. Mansoor Ahmed’s CV. It is interesting to note that Dr. Damodaran followed Dr. Ahmed trail – Hiroshima, Japan (probably in the same laboratory) and then joined Dr. Ahmed in Kentucky. The association is almost 20 years now??

    http://www.uluonk.org/uluonkCV/mansor.pdf
    From Dr. Ahmed’s cv, it is apparent he is actively involved in organsing conferences in India in his field. Ironically, he as the organising secretary for a Joint Workshop on Promoting Research Ethics Education in India – conducted in Chennai in collaboration with Sri Ramachandra University and University of Miami…in 2009. How relevant is this in light of the above irregularities?

    Not Surprising

    October 31, 2011 at 12:07 am

    • “Research ethics” groups and workshops are unreliable, as they often are led by individuals with shady activities in their past. In many cases such efforts are oxymoronic given the ethics of the individuals, and indeed – institutions, involved.

      The real tragedy in this case (or cases – as it appears to be developing) we are discussing involves the ethical scientists who did not get jobs, research grants, etc., at the expense of unethical individuals who did.

      Sierra Rayne

      October 31, 2011 at 10:58 am

  57. Totally!! Agreed…some of us are stuck at the bottom because unethical individuals climb the ladder without much effort…

    Not Surprising

    October 31, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    • Yep. Science is a nasty political world nowadays with little honor. Even over my relatively short career, I’ve seen it change a lot.

      I recall when I started my B.Sc. in the mid-90s at a relatively small university-college in Canada, I was largely surrounded (at least in the physical sciences) by ‘classic’ old-school type honorable professors who appeared to take little interest in the immature world of petty politics, and who appeared to want to promote not only the best, but also the most ethical (i.e., good people), students. Even then, though, I could see potential trouble with some of the younger faculty and lab instructors, and sure enough, 15 years later, I’m blogging about the ridiculously unethical behavior of some of these same people I identified back in the mid-90s.

      Graduate school was a massive eye-opener into just how corrupt science is (right, Michael Ikonomou at Fisheries and Oceans Canada?).

      Nowadays, I see hardly any of the ‘old-guard types’, and mostly a preponderance of the current set of immature nitwits. And that is exactly what leads to the types of issues we discuss on this page, on this website, and many of the as-yet-untold stories.

      The infantilization of western society over the past two decades is most pronounced and evident in science (as is clear from most documentary TV shows on science topics nowadays [e.g., BBC, PBS, etc.], which look like they are aimed at an audience with a collective pre-adolescent maturity level and delivered by a host with a similar maturity level).

      But I digress …

      Sierra Rayne

      October 31, 2011 at 11:05 pm

  58. Argh. Reservatrol? That’s one of the starting compounds in my synthesis! And although I’m not working with cancer cells, 3/4 of the papers I’m using for research are…

    Anyone else ever had to specifically watch RW to make sure that no papers they’ve referenced get retracted?

    Also, do Ivan & Adam know you can only nest replies three deep? Post –> Reply 1 –> Reply 2 –> Reply 3. The “Reply” tag disappears from Reply 3.

    helen-louise

    November 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm

  59. I received the following reply from the MCT editorial office today in response to the e-mail I sent them on the weekend that is pasted above. An appropriate reply from the journal (although they could not have known my gender is male, not female!), and hopefully more issues will be resolved regarding Damodaran’s publishing history:

    “Dear Ms. Rayne,
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The journal and the AACR is currently looking into this. Dr. Von Hoff sends his appreciation for your concern.
    Best regards,
    Candice

    Candice Nulsen, Ph.D.
    Sr. Associate Editor/MCT
    Translational Genomics Research Institute
    445 N. 5th St.
    Phoenix, AZ 85004″

    Sierra Rayne

    November 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm

  60. I am speaking from the inside of the U of Kentucky. I know Dr. Chendil and his writing style. I am researcher who does bench work experiments, and therefore have plenty of experience in running gels and analyzing the data including examining raw images from Western blots. With this background, I would like to express my ‘opinions’ on a few issues raised above.

    1. The blogger with the named as ‘Charlotte’ writes the way Dr. Chendil does. This person wrote twice on October 28th (Please read what he/she wrote above ). This person was defending Dr. Chendil against accusations he was getting. I strong suspect that he is Dr. Chendil. The reason why I believe so? First, he writes exactly the same way the blogger ‘Charlotte’ wrote. The phrases that were used such as ‘big shots’ were repeatedly used by Chendil when he was defending himself while he was at Kentucky. He is the only person from whom I heard the phrase ‘big shots’. It may be used by many others, but he used to used this phase so often. Charlotte is the first name of Dr. Charlotte Peterson who was the research associate dean in the college where Chendil held his faculty position at the U of Kentucky and, most importantly, was the person who led the investigation on Chendil’s misconduct. My guess is that he intentionally used Dr. Peterson’s name as his nickname.

    2. The investigation was performed in an extremely confidential way. No one knows what was the true outcome of the investigation except University officials and Chendil himself. Chendil and his two associates were one time officially fired at the completion of the investigation. However, strangely, the employment status of each of them was restored a few weeks later. Soon after Dr. Chendil left University of Kentucky. Later, I leant that he moved to a different University. Now I know it is UT New Mexico.

    3. In regard to the recent blogs written by MuchChad – what he/she wrote about the gel banding patterns does not make any sense. There is no way that you would get the same patterns of get banding from any experiment. Even though you run exactly the same protein samples on the same gel, there will be more or less differences in their banding patterns. In nature, the pore sizes and shapes in a gel are different across the gel. A tiny difference in the size/shape will cause changes in sample migration speed, shape of the bands and distance between the bands. Furthermore, when you perform Western blot assay, there are so many factors and steps where changes can be made. It is absolutely impossible for you to produce exactly same Western blot results even with exactly same samples, tools, procedures, reagents and time of each step. Bottom line, no one who has experience with Western blotting will buy your logic of explaining how the faulty Western blot images of Dr. Chendil’s papers could be the same the way as they are presented.

    wonder

    November 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    • This kind of disclosure is absolutely needed for such responses. I guessed so…Muchchad must be from University of Miami – as Sierra Rayne pointed. You guess who it could be…

      Not Surprising

      November 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      • Agreed. Based on recent web visits to my blog, someone at U. of Miami is checking out my blog and my publication record. So when they attack, I’ll know where and who to counterattack.

        Fascinating stuff ‘wonder’, thanks for the report and insights.

        The question I have is who at U. of Kentucky gave Chendil the references required to go somewhere else after an apparent internal finding of misconduct? That sounds unethical, at the least, to me.

        Sierra Rayne

        November 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    • Can you tell us something about how the problems with Chendil’s work came to light?
      Did someone in the lab blow the whistle or were teh problems (which are obvious to anyone that looks at the papers) identified by someone not associated with the University of Kentucky?

      scotus

      November 21, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      • We were told by a source that the person who brought this matter to the University authority was a former member of Dr. Chendil’s lab. The University of Kentucky investigation panel should know. Initial investigation was led by Dr. Charlotte Peterson, Vice Dean for Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky. At least, she should know. But, no official word was released from the investigation panel or by the research dean in regard to who was the person. Furthermore, I do not know why the investigation result was not publicized. As Dr. Chendil’s science was corrupt, the investigation or management of the investigation or the outcome was also corrupt? I suspect a dirty deal was made between Chendil and the University as he left the University of Kentucky, and moved to the next University (UT New Mexico) without any string attached: he was untenured assistant professor, but moved to UT as a tenured associate professor. If the investigation result was publicized, the UT New Mexico and we, the science community, would not suffer. Transparency is not there and scholars/professors who are supposed to speak in honesty are quiet. Isn’t a university the place where truth, justice and knowledge are taught to the next generation?

        wonder

        November 21, 2011 at 11:07 pm

        • Very well said.

          Sierra Rayne

          November 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm

      • Everywhere the same..truth is being withheld..i am going to alert the relevant places where he is being considered as an extraordinary scientist…

        not surprising

        November 22, 2011 at 1:35 am

  61. Exactly! again, the point should be highlighted that it is not witch hunt..Honesty vs dishonesty. Good science vs bad/sloppy science…

    not surprising

    November 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    • When there are witches around, a witch hunt is neither unwarranted nor unreasonable.

      Sierra Rayne

      November 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      • To my knowledge, none of his faculty colleague from U of Kentucky wrote a reference letter for him. At least, I believe so. I think he should have used his ring of people to serve him as references. Under this theory (and probably the case), it is the fault of his new employer (UT New Mexico) for not contacting his former employer before hiring him. There is a pretty good possibility that Dr. Chendil blamed U of Kentucky and his colleagues to the new employer during the hiring process, as a way or reason to not provide references from them. Remember his papers has so many of manipulated data sets….can’t he manipulate situations and people, too?

        wonder

        November 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm

        • Agreed, the onus should have been on UT to appropriately inquire as to what went on. That said, in light of the subsequent retraction (and other concerns noted), perhaps UT can ‘re-examine’ their decision(s) if conflicting information was provided to them in the past.

          Your point about ‘people manipulation’ and ‘support groups’ is well taken. This is why all academic hiring decisions need to be publicly transparent. At present, most faculty hiring nowadays has nothing to do with fairness and equity in selecting the best candidate (yes, there are exceptions, but they are exceptions), and everything to do with satisfying political allegiances. Academia has failed as a self-regulating profession, it neither regulates itself appropriately, nor does it act professionally.

          Sierra Rayne

          November 17, 2011 at 9:31 am

    • So do you know if the scope of the UK investigation went beyond the single paper that has been retracted so far? The evidence of image manipulation in so many of the other papers is so blatant and obvious it will look very bad for UK if it turns out that they didn’t identify these in their investigation.

      The reason the result was not publicized is that the UK investigation has to be passed onto the NIH/ORI who will make a “final determination”. Until that time, unless UK were willing to risk the legal liability of going public, assuming that he hasn’t admitted to anything, Chendil can continue to pretend that he has done nothing wrong.

      scotus

      November 22, 2011 at 2:25 pm

  62. “Much” or “mooch” is a moustache. A “muchchad” is someone with an especially impressive moustache.

    http://sacredgames.typepad.com/glossary/2006/08/muchchad.html

    http://sylvester.org/research/knowledgebase/scientist/m_ahmed

    Scotus

    November 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm

  63. You nailed it down Scotus. Very impressive. See my comment of October 31 , 2011 at 12:07 for his involvement in ethics…very interesting case though.

    Not Surprising

    November 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm

  64. I was thinking something like this might be more impressive…

    http://www.the-latest.com/files/images/moustache_edited.preview.jpg

    Do we know why he left Kentucky? Is there anyone else with connections to Chendil and Ahmed still in Kentucky?

    Scotus

    November 24, 2011 at 10:38 pm

  65. Not Surprising

    November 26, 2011 at 1:14 am

    • To external observers, stuff like this takes away from the seriousness of the serious topics we are discussing.

      I also do not personally support this level of political correctness.

      Sierra Rayne

      November 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm

  66. ok.
    it was mentioned somewhere on this blog that ORI is investigating Dr. Damodaran’s case. Is it possible for a person who is under investigation to be actively involved in academic activities? Is he/she be allowed to continue his/her research/teaching in the university? Is he/she allowed to submit grant applications?

    Not Surprising

    November 26, 2011 at 7:11 pm

  67. Speaking of image manipulation, look at Figure 6 (the FTIR spectra) in this paper: http://www.springerlink.com/content/tv78p2542m7r2913/

    Zoom in on the regions around 3100 cm-1 in Fig. 6(a) and (b) – noting the discontinuous lines. Also note the discontinuity between 1100-1200 cm-1 in Fig. 6(b).

    Sierra Rayne

    December 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm

  68. Any follow-up on papers by Prof Bharat Aggarwal?
    Last month, I read about potential serious frauds in >10 papers by the well-known professor. The ‘m3′ website was subsequently blocked. Again, high number of image data manipulation.
    Any fact to it?

    Daniel

    January 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm

  69. Daniel, i was about to bring this up…some how, japanese blog has been blocked and abnormal science has also stopped posting anything new since December 19, 2011 and the last activity was on 31st Dec 2011. Fear!! fear!!

    Not Surprising

    January 8, 2012 at 5:12 am

  70. This is my first post on this case. I thought someone would follow this up – (for eg. sierra rayne or not surprising) who were very active. When I read earlier that he was a convener for a session on Cancer Stem Cells at the Indian Science Congress. Conference organisers and Dr. Shirkant Anant who was the chairperson of the session were alerted and they immediately removed his name from the convener responsibility. I was a bit curious to see whether they were honest in their action. I searched his name on the web (I was informed by a friend of mine in India who was attending the congress) and found that Dr. Chendil Damodaran indeed was an invited speaker at the plenary session on Cancer Stem Cells and he gave a talk on his herbal compound Please see the link http://www.isc2012.com/pdf/programme_booklet.pdf Moreover, his research was highlighted in the newsupdate…http://www.kiit.ac.in/newsupdate/jan12.html it is mentioned that video links of the talks will be available soon…http://kiit.tv/live.asp
    You decide yourself on the situation. I don’t think anything will be done hereafterwards. What do you think, Sierra Rayne?

    Ressci Integrity

    January 8, 2012 at 5:37 am

    • I think that this issue says a lot about the ethics (or lack thereof) of science in India, and also raises some troubling questions as to what is going on at Texas Tech. Not too much to follow-up on this beyond the valid concerns you have raised.

      Many areas of science are so corrupt from top to bottom that this type of nonsense will go on for some time.

      Sierra Rayne

      January 12, 2012 at 9:31 am

  71. Is Dr. Chendil still @ texas tech Univ.? I cannot find his profile anywhere.

    sai_pranav2003@yahoo.com

    March 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm

  72. hey guys!! Look at this Mansoor Ahmed’s new contact below. Dont be surpriced!!! He left University of Mimai.
    Mansoor M. Ahmed Ph.D.
    Program Director
    Radiotherapy Development Branch (RDB)
    Radiation Research Program (RRP)
    Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosi s (DCTD) National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health

    scot

    March 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm

  73. WOW. A big leap and a well deserved promotion!! more to do…He can even investigate people doing misconduct….the job is really powerful and lucky Chendil.

    Ressci Integrity

    March 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm

  74. I get an offer for Postdoc position under Chendil Damodaran. Luckily I read this forum and decided not to join. Thank you guys .

    jai

    April 2, 2012 at 8:18 pm

  75. A new paper from Dr. MM…in collaboration with a company…this group has been quiet for some time in terms publication.
    Patel V, Papineni RV, Gupta S, Stoyanova R, Ahmed MM.A realistic utilization of nanotechnology in molecular imaging and targeted radiotherapy of solid tumors.Radiat Res. 2012 Apr;177(4):483-95. Epub 2012 Mar 9.
    Any expert comments on this?

    Ressci Integrity

    April 18, 2012 at 9:54 am


  76. I found this on you tube someone taking about ethics in research. such an irony.

    Jeany

    July 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    • this is amazing…i missed this totally…well done DR. MM…

      Ressci Integrity

      August 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm

  77. Interesting that above there is a note about Santosh Katiyar.

    Well he has just retracted a paper from Carcinogenesis on prostate cancer and at least seven more appear under suspicion.

    amw

    August 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

  78. I came across this website recently and have been following it quite closely. Does anyone have an update as to the current status of the paper published by Dr. Damodaran in MCT which has many issues as correctly cited by Sierra Rayne?

    It should not take the editorial board a year to decide on misrepresentation of data published in their journal. I would like to write to the editorial board myself. But I would like to know if an action has been taken already before I write to them.

    It is atrocious that people like Damodaran are still employed by state universities that are run mainly by tax payers dollars.

    Any response with regard to the paper will be really appreciated. Thanks.

    Yana Zeig

    November 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm


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