Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Archive for the ‘harvard’ Category

Scientists investigated for misconduct lose appeal in suit against Harvard. Lawyers explain what it means.

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Paul S. Thaler

Paul S. Thaler

Richard Goldstein

Richard Goldstein

Retraction Watch readers may recall the case of Piero Anversa and Annarosa Leri, both formerly of Harvard and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. The pair — which has had their work subjected to a retraction, expression of concern, and correction — sued their former employers in 2014 for costing them job offers after the institutions notified journals, triggering notices. A judge dismissed the case a year ago, saying that Anversa and Leri had to try other administrative remedies before bringing suit.

But Anversa and Leri appealed, and last week, a court denied that appeal. (See the judge’s decision — which begins by quoting Ecclesiastes and includes the delicious word “gallimaufry” — here.) We spoke by email to two attorneys — Richard Goldstein, who represented the scientist in Bois v. HHS, the first case to overturn a funding ban by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), and Paul Thaler, who has represented scientists involved in misconduct proceedings for more than 25 years — about the case, and what it could mean for similar lawsuits.

Retraction Watch: The decision seems to stop Anversa and Leri from continuing their suit against Harvard and the Brigham, but also acknowledges some of the scientists’ concerns as legitimate. How would you summarize the findings and their implications? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

September 7th, 2016 at 9:35 am

Cancer researcher logs 5th retraction

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Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and NeoplasiaA cancer researcher has added a fifth retraction to his name — but the notice doesn’t mention any problems with the paper itself. 

Rather, the Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia decided to retract the paper because it referenced other papers that had been retracted as a result of data manipulation.

The notice doesn’t specify which references were problematic, but the list includes three papers that are now retracted; all three include Scott Valastyan (the sole author of the newly retracted paper) as first author, and two list Robert Weinberg, his former supervisor and prominent cancer researcher, as last author.

Read the rest of this entry »

Coptic cop-out? Religion journal won’t pull paper based on bogus ‘gospel’

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HTR107_02What the Harvard Theological Review giveth, it evidently will not taketh away.

The venerable publication about religious matters is refusing to retract a 2014 article by a noted scholar of early Christianity despite evidence that the article — about Jesus’s wife — was based on a forgery.

The paper, by Harvard theologian Karen King, described a Coptic papyrus called “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,” which, among other things, includes language that suggests Christ was married: Read the rest of this entry »

Singapore investigation leads to another retraction, correction for Harvard research fellow

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Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 8.12.49 AM

After an investigation found evidence of misconduct, a biologist has issued a third retraction.

Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy — now a research fellow at Harvard Medical School — “admitted falsification,” a Research Integrity Officer at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore told us in December. According to The Scientist, another journal has also published a correction that the authors had requested earlier.

The newly retracted paper is “Myostatin is a novel tumoral factor that induces cancer cachexia,” published in Biochemical Journal and cited 40 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science. Here’s the retraction note:

What did retractions look like in the 17th century?

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Alex Csiszar

Alex Csiszar

We always like to get a historical perspective on how scientists have tried to correct the record, such as this attempt in 1756 to retract a published opinion about some of the work of Benjamin Franklin. Although that 18th century note used the word “retract,” it wasn’t a retraction like what we see today, in which an entire piece of writing is pulled from the record. These modern-day retractions are a relatively recent phenomenon, which only took off within the last few decades, according to science historian Alex Csiszar at Harvard University. He spoke to us about the history of retractions – and why an organization like Retraction Watch couldn’t have existed 100 years ago.

Retraction Watch: First of all, let’s start with something you found that appears to break our previous record for the earliest retraction – a “retractation” by William Molyneux of some assertions about the properties of a stone, published in 1684. Could this be the earliest English-language retraction? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

March 14th, 2016 at 9:30 am

Stem cell researcher who sued Harvard, Brigham & Women’s is leaving his post

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anversa

Piero Anversa

A stem cell researcher who sued his employers, Harvard and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, is headed to Switzerland.

Piero Anversa‘s departure follows the dismissal of his suit last summer. Anversa filed the suit with colleague Annarosa Leri, claiming that an investigation into their work damaged their reputations:

they lost a multimillion-dollar offer to purchase their company, Autologous/Progenital; and both Plaintiffs have had possible employment offers at several institutions postponed.

Anversa’s lawyer, Tracey Miner, confirmed that he was moving:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shannon Palus

November 20th, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Judge dismisses cardiac stem cell researchers’ lawsuit against Harvard

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Piero Anversa

Piero Anversa

A Massachusetts judge has dismissed a lawsuit by researchers who argued that an investigation by Harvard cost them job offers.

Last year, Piero Anversa, a stem cell researcher at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and a colleague, Annarosa Leri, sued Harvard over an investigation into their work that they claim damaged their reputations: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alison McCook

July 29th, 2015 at 2:30 pm

Bad image prompts correction of Harvard-Brigham stem cell paper by Anversa

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circresA group of Harvard stem cell researchers who already have one retraction and an expression of concern now have a correction. This one’s in Circulation Research, and it involves an image that previously had been flagged as suspicious in our comments.

The group is led by Piero Anversa, who as we reported last year is one of two researchers suing Harvard because the institution’s investigation into their work

has cost them millions in a forfeited sale of their company, and job offers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stem cell researchers sue Harvard, claiming faulty investigation lost them job offers

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anversa

Piero Anversa

Piero Anversa, a stem cell researcher at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and a colleague, Annarosa Leri, have sued Harvard over an investigation into their work that they claim has cost them millions in a forfeited sale of their company, and job offers.

The team has had a paper in Circulation retracted, and a paper in The Lancet subject to an expression of concern.

In the suit, first reported by the Boston Business Journal and the Boston Globe, Anversa and Leri blame a co-author for the issues in the papers, and claim that their Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Ivan Oransky

December 17th, 2014 at 6:53 pm

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Harvard stem cell scientist Vacanti taking leave in wake of STAP retractions

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vacanti

Charles Vacanti, via BWH

Charles Vacanti, a Harvard anesthesiologist and stem cell pioneer whose name appeared on both retracted STAP stem cell papers, is giving up his post as chair of anesthesiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and taking a year-long sabbatical.

According to the Knoepfler Lab Stem Cell Blog, which as become a must-read for anyone interested in the STAP saga, Vacanti — the corresponding author, with Haruko Obokata, on one of the Nature articles, and a co-author on the other — told colleagues in an email: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by amarcus41

August 12th, 2014 at 4:44 pm