Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Kidney researcher in Switzerland who lost professorship for data manipulation loses two papers

with 3 comments

jasnA kidney researcher in Switzerland was lost his professorship in October for manipulating data has retracted two papers.

Pascale Meier left CHUV and University of Lausanne last fall, and this week agreed to leave his clinical position at Valais Hospital after the hospital found “irregularities in the management of nephrology department and hemodialysis funds,” the Swiss media is reporting.

And yesterday, two retractions appeared in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Here’s the notice (sadly, behind a paywall) [see update at end of post]:

At the request of the authors and after careful internal review, the following articles published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology have been retracted:

Meier P, Spertini F, Blanc E, Burnier M: Oxidized low density lipoproteins activate CD4+ cell apoptosis in patients with end-stage renal disease through Fas engagement. J Am Soc Nephrol 18: 331–342, 2007; and Meier P, Golshayan D, Blanc E, Pascual M, Burnier M: Oxidized LDL modulates apoptosis of regulatory T cells in patients with ESRD. J Am Soc Nephrol 20: 1368–1384, 2009.

Concerns were raised over possible image manipulation and the provenance and integrity of the underlying data for both studies. The corresponding author, Dr. Pascale Meier, takes full and sole responsibility for the inability to present raw data supporting the published results. Coauthors involved in this study were unaware of any misconduct.

The papers were cited 19 times and 21 times, respectively, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Update, 5:45 p.m. Eastern, 1/24/14: The American Society of Nephrology tells us that the reason the notice was paywalled was that it went online earlier than scheduled. They’re removed the paywall.

Hat tip: Stéphane Burtey

Written by Ivan Oransky

January 24th, 2014 at 9:30 am

Comments
  • StrongDreams January 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I like the Google translation of the first sentence of that news story:

    Already pinched for manipulating scientific data in a search for publication, stripped of his academic title of professor, Dr. Pascal Meier left the Valais Hospital after an internal audit which found “irregularities in the management of funds Nephrology and Hemodialysis. “

  • Conn Suits January 28, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Dear Retraction Watchers,
    This is a paper where a bit of context and explanation would be useful. I realize you can’t ferret out info on all of the disturbingly large number of improper papers you report, but if you were going to do it for some this would be the sort. It’s about medicine, in real disease not dubious ‘lifestyle’-y supposed disease prevention sense. It’s been cited thus presumably is influencing something. And it’s bizarrely jargony and arcane. For instance my field is physiology, I know what all those things mentioned are, except Fas, but how lipoproteins, the immune system and kidneys are connected I have no idea. And on top of that this appears to be real fraud. Fakeo info. Versus all the cut and paste plagiarism papers, which if the paper stolen from is copecetic are at least not misleading people about important things. (Except for when the whole line of inquiry is horrifyingly trivial.) Fraud, especially in medicine, is different.

    And: thank you for all your dismal labours. This is important stuff.

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