Pfizer has discovered two additional papers that merit retraction from the lab of a former employee. One of the papers, published in Clinical Cancer Research, was retracted earlier this month.
Last year, Pfizer requested retractions of five papers from the lab of breast cancer researcher Min-Jean Yin, who was fired after an investigation revealed image duplication. The papers were first questioned on PubPeer. By April 2017, all five papers had been retracted.
The former vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Los Angeles, has retracted a 2012 paper after an internal investigation found evidence of image manipulation.
The journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics received a letter about the problems with the paper from the UCLA Research Integrity Officer, and a retraction request from last author James Economou, also the chief of surgical oncology.
According to the notice, the paper duplicated images from a 2011 paper also by first author Ali Jazirehi, based at UCLA. This is Jazirehi’s second retraction.
When journals learn papers are problematic, how long does it take them to act?
We recently had a chance to find out as part of our continuing coverage of the case of Anil Jaiswal at the University of Maryland, who’s retracted 15 papers (including two new ones we recently identified), and has transitioned out of cancer research. Here’s what happened.
As part of a public records request related to the investigation, we received letters that the University of Maryland sent to 11 journals regarding 26 “compromised” papers co-authored by Jaiswal, four of which had been retracted by the time of the letter. The letters were dated between August and September 2016 (and one in February) — although, in some cases, the journals told us they received the letter later. Since that date, three journals have retracted nine papers and corrected another, waiting between four and six months to take action. One journal published an editorial note of concern within approximately two months after the university letter.
And six journals have not taken any public action.
A pathology journal is retracting two papers after an investigation at the last author’s institution in Germany found evidence of scientific misconduct.
The notice for both papers cites an investigation involving Regine Schneider-Stock, who studies cancer biology at the Friedrich Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU). Meanwhile, another 2005 paper that lists Schneider-Stock as the first author was retracted in October, noting evidence of image manipulation.
The most recent retractions, from the American Journal of Pathology, note that FAU declined to provide the journal with details of its investigation beyond a prepared statement:
A former cancer researcher has falsified data in 11 studies, according to the results of a investigation scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow.
The Office of Research Integrity’s findings are based on an inquiry at Virginia Commonwealth University, where Girija Dasmahapatra worked until July of this year, investigating possible therapies for cancer. The misconduct affected research funded by three grants from the National Institutes of Health. Steven Grant, a researcher at VCU, is the principal investigator on the grants, each of which total over $2 million in funding. All of the 11 affected papers will be corrected or retracted, according to the ORI notice.
The stories behind several recent inscrutable retraction notices became a bit more clear today when the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) issued findings in cases involving former researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of California, San Francisco.