Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

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MD Anderson’s Bharat Aggarwal inquiry still ongoing; center uninvolved in legal threats

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Bharat Aggarwal

When we learned earlier this week that Bharat Aggarwal, the MD Anderson researcher under investigation there for possible misconduct, had directed his attorneys to send us a pull-all-your-posts-about-our-client-or-we’ll-sue-you letter, we wondered if he’d included the Houston institution in that decision.

Turns out he’d been acting on his own. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

April 12th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

MD Anderson’s Bharat Aggarwal threatens to sue Retraction Watch

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Bharat Aggarwal

Bharat Aggarwal, an MD Anderson researcher under investigation by his institution, has threatened to sue us.

Today, we received a letter from the Houston firm of Paranjpe & Mahadass LLP telling us to pull every post related to their client off our site within 20 days, or they’d “file a lawsuit against” us on his behalf.

On what grounds? According to the March 26 letter, which we have posted here in its entirety: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

April 10th, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Correction for MD Anderson’s Bharat Aggarwal arches eyebrows for the right reasons

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We’ve written about mega-corrections that allow scientists to retrace virtually all of their steps yet preserve their publications as supposedly legitimate. And we’ve seen plenty of corrections that allow authors to assert that their conclusions are correct when evidently important pieces of data are themselves unreliable.

Now comes a correction that seems to us to strike the right chords, given the fact that editors are to a large extent at the mercy of authors in these situations. Read the rest of this entry »

MD Anderson investigating researcher Bharat Aggarwal over images

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Bharat Aggarwal, an influential MD Anderson researcher who has been accused in the blogosphere of manipulating images in a slew of published studies, acknowledged to Retraction Watch that the Houston institution is investigating the matter. Reached by Retraction Watch by phone at his office, Aggarwal said MD Anderson

has been looking into it and I think that they will tell everybody what it is all about. I think that somebody out there is putting this whole thing together and their mind is made up.

However, Aggarwal, chief of the center’s cytokine research section, denied that any retractions of his papers were forthcoming. He refused to comment on whether officials had confiscated his computer, as a commenter to this blog has claimed. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

January 31st, 2012 at 4:55 pm

MD Anderson researcher Aggarwal up to six corrections

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cover (2)A highly cited cancer researcher at MD Anderson has notched three major corrections, all associated with problems in figures. One note cites “human error” as the cause.

Bharat Aggarwal is the last author on all three papers. He is now up to six corrections, two unexplained withdrawals, and two Expressions of Concern. He’s also threatened to sue us in the past, and has told us that his institution has been looking into his work.

Only one note specifies that the correction does not affect the paper’s conclusions.

First up: “Inhibition of growth and survival of human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells by curcumin via modulation of nuclear factor-κB signaling,” published in the International Journal of Cancer and cited 168 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The issues span two figures, according to the erratum note:

Read the rest of this entry »

Two Expressions of Concern in Blood for MD Anderson’s Aggarwal, who has threatened to sue Retraction Watch

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aggarwalBharat Aggarwal, the MD Anderson researcher who has threatened to sue us while under investigation by his institution for alleged misconduct, now has two Expressions of Concern in addition to two corrections and two unexplained withdrawals.

Both of the papers were published in Blood. The Expression of Concern for “Gambogic acid, a novel ligand for transferrin receptor, potentiates TNF-induced apoptosis through modulation of the nuclear factor-κB signaling pathway,” reads: Read the rest of this entry »

Correction for MD Anderson’s Aggarwal, cancer researcher whose work is under investigation

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jmm113coverBharat Aggarwal, the highly cited MD Anderson Cancer Center researcher who has confirmed to us that his work is under investigation by the institution, has a correction of his work in the Journal of Molecular Medicine. Troubled images are to blame — as they have been in previous retractions, and at least one other correction, of Aggarwal’s papers.

The paper, “Celastrol suppresses invasion of colon and pancreatic cancer cells through the downregulation of expression of CXCR4 chemokine receptor,” was published in December 2010 and cited 15 times since, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

Here’s the notice: Read the rest of this entry »

Another withdrawal by MD Anderson’s Aggarwal, again for unclear reasons

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Bharat B. Aggarwal, the MD Anderson researcher under investigation at his institution over concerns of image manipulation, has withdrawn a second paper, although you’d never know why from the statement.

The notice for the article, “Evidence for the critical roles of NF-κB p65 and specificity proteins in the apoptosis-inducing activity of proteasome inhibitors in leukemia cells,” is pretty minimal: Read the rest of this entry »

MD Anderson researcher Aggarwal loses paper in Cancer Letters

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Whether it’s a one-off or a sign of things to come, Bharat Aggarwal, the MD Anderson scientist at the center of a blogospheric storm—and an institutional investigation—over the validity of his data, has had a paper withdrawn by the journal Cancer Letters. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

February 9th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Sorry, researchers: That Thomson Reuters “highly cited” designation you received is probably wrong

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clarivateElation, then disappointment.

That was the emotional sequence for some significant number of researchers around the world on Friday. In the space of several hours, they received word that they were among the scientific 1% — the most cited researchers on the planet — then learned that…well, they actually weren’t.

Here’s the letter — subject line, “Congratulations Highly Cited Researcher!” — and the retraction…erm, apology (click to enlarge): Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

November 21st, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Posted in publisher error