Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Four more retractions for biomaterials researcher brings total to 7

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Journal of Controlled ReleaseA biomaterials researcher has lost four more papers for figure-related issues such as duplications, bringing his total to seven retractions.

We previously reported on three retractions two by the Journal of Controlled Release (JCR) of papers co-authored by Hossein Hosseinkhani, who is currently based at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei. Now, the JCR is pulling four more studies that list Hosseinkhani as a co-author.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Enhanced expression of plasmid dna – cationized gelatin complex by ultrasound in murine muscle:”

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief because of concerns about several of the figures.

Figures 5(A) and 5(C) are identical, and the entire Figure 5 (A)-(E) has been reused in references [1] and [2].

The 2002 paper has been cited 38 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Hosseinkhani is listed as the second author, but the first author on the two papers that reused figure 5.

Next, here’s the retraction notice for the 2003 paper, “In vitro gene expression by cationized derivatives of an artificial protein with repeated RGD sequences, pronectin®,” which lists Hosseinkhani as the first author, and has been cited 27 times since publication:

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief because of concerns about several of the figures.

In Figure 1, the loading controls (i.e. the bands at the top of the gels) of Figures 1(A), 1(B), 1(D), 1(F) and 1(H) are identical, albeit with different brightness levels. The other parts of the gels 1(A), 1(B) and 1(D) are clearly different, whereas gels 1(F) and 1(H) are fully identical.

Next, the retraction notice for “Tumor targeting of gene expression through metal-coordinated conjugation with dextran:”

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief because of concerns about several of the figures.

Figures 7 (A)(2), (B)(2), (B)(3) and (C)(3) are identical to Figures 6 (A), (B), (C) and (D) in reference [1] and Figures US(-)(3), US(+)(1), US(-)(4) and US(+)(4) in reference [2].

The 2003 paper has so far accumulated 34 citations. Hosseinkhani is the first author, and a co-author on the two cited references.

Finally, the retraction notice for Ultrasound enhances in vivo tumor expression of plasmid DNA by PEG-introduced cationized dextran:”

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy).

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor in Chief because of concerns about several of the figures.

Figures 8(A), (C), (E), and (F) are composed of rotated and/or manipulated figures previously published as Figures 5 (A), (E), (D), and (B)/(C) in reference [1], describing experiments with mouse tumor tissue and mouse muscle tissue, respectively.

Figures 8(B) and 8(D) are manipulations of the same figure 8(A): Figure 8(B) by 90 degrees clockwise rotation and 60% stretching, and Figure 8(D) by enlarging and coloring.

The same Figure 8 has been duplicated in reference [2].

Figure 2(D) is identical to Figure 1(F) in reference [3].

The 2005 paper, which also lists Hosseinkhani as first author, has garnered 37 citations. He is also a co-author on all of the references cited in the retraction notice.

Yasuhiko Tabata — who is based at Kyoto University in Japan (one of Hosseinkhani’s previous employers) — is the last author of all the newly retracted papers, as well as two of the studies that were previously pulled, bringing his total to six retractions. Teruyoshi Aoyama and Osamu Ogawa are also listed as co-authors on two of the studies that have now been retracted.

As we reported previously, one of Hosseinkhani’s co-authors on two of his already retracted papers may have somewhat of a backstory: A researcher with the same name as Mohsen Hosseinkhani was accused of having stolen materials from his former lab at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, worth more more than $3,000. 

According to the New York Post, M. Hosseinkhani also allegedly swapped caged lab mice to sabotage his colleagues’ experiments. But before he was due in court, M. Hosseinkhani fled to Iran; if he had been convicted, M. Hosseinkhani would have faced up to 3.5 years in jail, an Iran Times article noted.

We’ve contacted Hossein Hosseinkhani, and have so far been unsuccessful in uncovering whether he is related to Mohsen Hosseinkhani.

We’ve reached out to Tabata, the JCR and the National Taiwan University. We’ll update the post with anything else we learn.

Hat tip: Author of world fluctuation watch

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