Alfredo Fusco, a cancer researcher in Italy who is facing a criminal investigation for fraud, has had two more papers retracted.
Here’s the Cell Death & Disease notice for “High-mobility group A1 protein inhibits p53-mediated intrinsic apoptosis by interacting with Bcl-2 at mitochondria:”
The Editorial Board of Cell Death and Disease is retracting the above article (PMID 22932725).
A reader contacted the Editors about apparent duplications in Figures 1b and 2c, and possible splicing of an image in Figure 3c. Concerns were subsequently raised about the similarity of the tubulin loading controls in Figure 1b to those that appeared in Figure 1c of Cell Death and Differentiation 2006; 13: 1554–63 (PMID 16341121), a paper that was retracted by the authors on 6 December 2013.
Because the Authors were unable to provide the original source files that were used to generate the figures in question, the Editorial Board is retracting this publication.
The paper has been cited nine times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Here’s a notice from DNA and Cell Biology, which is unfortunately behind a paywall:
The article entitled “Targeted Disruption of the Murine Homeodomain-Interacting Protein Kinase-2 Causes Growth Deficiency In Vivo and Cell Cycle Arrest In Vitro,” by Trapasso et al., 2009;28(4);doi: 10.1089/dna.2008.0778, pp 161–167, is being officially retracted from DNA and Cell Biology.
Data presented in Figure 1 appear to have been manipulated.
We regret any inconvenience this error may have caused.
The DNA and Cell Biology paper has been cited 11 times.
We’ve also obtained a letter from Ohio State University, where one of Fusco’s co-authors on the DNA and Cell Biology paper works, to pseudonymous whistleblower Clare Francis. That co-author, Carlo Croce, has written several papers with Fusco. Here’s the text, in which an administrator says OSU sees no reason to investigate, and that the Office of Research Integrity agrees:
The Ohio State University received your additional allegations against university faculty member Carlo M. Croce Ph.D., which were detailed in the emails you sent on December 12, 2013 and December 14, 2013. As noted in my letter to you dated December 12, 2013, the University reviewed the manuscripts numbered 1, 3, and 4 in your email of December 12, 2013 and determined that the manuscripts were not generated at Ohio State. Specifically, the corresponding authors for the manuscripts are not employed by the Ohio State University. Further, although Dr. Croce is a co-author on the three manuscripts, neither Dr. Croce nor any other Ohio State employee generated or provided any data for the figures in question, nor were they involved in the generation of the figures. In view of these facts, any questions regarding the figures in these papers would need to be addressed by the corresponding authors and their home institutions. Pertaining to manuscript 2 in your email of December 12, 2013, that manuscript was part of the original set of allegations (initially numbered 32) originally sent by you to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) and then forwarded by you to Ohio State University on November 17, 2013. The manuscript was reviewed by the ORI and per the ORI there is no further action needed. As such, the Ohio State University considers this matter closed.
Of note: In the Terry Elton case, the ORI said OSU hadn’t gone far enough. OSU concluded its letter to Francis:
Please note that the Institution considers continued activities in this vein as constituting frivolous allegations and a waste of University and State resources.