Former BU prof falsified images, agrees to 5-year funding ban

A former researcher at Boston University (BU) committed research misconduct, according to the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

William W. Cruikshank, formerly of BU’s Pulmonary Center,
“engaged in research misconduct by knowingly, intentionally, and/or recklessly falsifying and/or fabricating data” in a paper retracted in 2014, in an earlier version of that paper, in a seminar presentation, and in two grant applications submitted to the National Cancer Institute, the ORI reports.

Cruikshank did so by “copying blot band images from unrelated sources, manipulating to disguise their origin, and combining multiple images to generate new figures to falsely represent results using sixty-four (64) such band images” in 16 figures and related text.

Cruikshank, who retired from BU “prior to for-cause termination proceedings,” according to university spokesperson Rachel Lapal, agreed to a five-year ban on Federal funding and to not serve on peer review committees for the same period of time, beginning May 13, 2019.

One of the grants, R01 CA122737-01A2, was for $357,000, according to NIH records.

A retraction five years ago

In 2014, pseudonymous whistleblower Claire Francis contacted the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), which published the now-retracted paper in 2011, with his concerns, as follows:

Figure 1.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/core/lw/2.0/html/tileshop_pmc/tileshop_pmc_inline.html?title=Click%20on%20image%20to%20zoom&p=PMC3&id=3225985_JCI41769.f1.jpg

Figure 1A. p27 panel. Please compare panels for patients 5 and 7.

Please compare panels for patients 6 and 8.

Skp2 panel. Please compare signal upper right quadrants rightmost 2 panels (normal).

Figure 3.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/core/lw/2.0/html/tileshop_pmc/tileshop_pmc_inline.html?title=Click%20on%20image%20to%20zoom&p=PMC3&id=3225985_JCI41769.f3.jpg

Please compare band Pro-IL-16 panel patient 11 with horizontally stretched version band Tublulin panel T-ALL.

Please compare band Pro-IL-16 panel patient 1 with slightly cropped version band Pro-IL-16 panel patient 11.

Commenters on PubPeer have flagged a number of Cruikshank’s papers.

BU learned of the issues from the JCI, Lapal tells Retraction Watch, and no other papers are involved.

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2 thoughts on “Former BU prof falsified images, agrees to 5-year funding ban”

  1. “A retraction five years ago”

    And

    “Commenters on PubPeer have flagged a number of Cruikshank’s papers.”

    And

    “BU learned of the issues from the JCI… and no other papers are involved.”

    = frustrating

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