The U.S. Office of Research Integrity has sanctioned Bryan William Doreian, a former postdoc in dermatology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, for falsifying data in his dissertation and a 2009 paper in Molecular Biology of the Cell (for which it provided a cover image, at right).
ORI says Doreian’s bad NIH-funded data also appeared in a manuscript submitted to, but never published in, Nature Medicine.
Here are the papers cited in the finding:
- Doreian, B.W. “Molecular Regulation of the Exocytic Mode in Adrenal Chromaffin Cells.” Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, August 2009; hereafter referred to as the “Dissertation.”
- Doreian, B.W., Fulop, T.G., Meklemburg, R.L., Smith, C.B. “Cortical F-actin, the exocytic mode, and neuropeptide release in mouse chromaffin cells is regulated by myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate and myosin II.” Mol Biol Cell. 20(13):3142-54, 2009 Jul. (cited 14 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge)
- Doreian, B.W., Rosenjack, J., Galle, P.S., Hansen, M.B., Cathcart, M.K., Silverstein, R.L., McCormick, T.S., Cooper, K.D., Lu, K.Q. “Hyper-inflammation and tissue destruction mediated by PPAR-γ activation of macrophages in IL-6 deficiency.” Manuscript prepared for submission to Nature Medicine; hereafter referred to as the “Nature Medicine manuscript.”As a result of the Respondent’s admission, the Respondent will request that the following paper be retracted: Mol Biol Cell. 20(13):3142-54, 2009 Jul.ORI finds that Respondent falsified numerical values in the Mol Biol Cell paper, the submitted Nature Medicine manuscript, and the Dissertation by altering the number of samples or the experimental results to improve the statistical results. Specifically, ORI finds that Respondent:
falsified the quantification of immunofluorescence for the ratio of phosphorylated to unphosphorylated MARCKS protein in response to different stimuli in Figure 2 of the Mol Biol Cell paper and in Figure 12 of the Dissertation by falsifying the sample number as n=15
falsified the quantification of immunofluorescence for filamentous actin in response to different stimuli in Figure 3 of the Mol Biol Cell paper and in Figure 13 of the Dissertation by falsifying the sample number as n=15
falsified the quantification for the effect of blebbistatin on catecholamine release as determined by patch clamp analysis in Figure 22 of the Dissertation by stating that 14 cells had been assayed when only 8 cells had been assayed
falsified the Pearson’s cross-correlation analysis in Figure 7 of the Mol Biol Cell paper and in Figure 25 of the Dissertation, used to calculate the degree of spatial correlation between pan-chromogranin A/B (CgA/B) and the endosomal membrane, by stating that 20 or more cells had been tested for each condition when only 9-18 cells had been tested for each condition
falsified RT-PCR values for iNOS and TNF-alpha expression recorded on spreadsheets and presented in Figures 5e and 5f of the Nature Medicine manuscript showing the effect of hyper-inflammatory macrophage generation on tissue destruction, by falsifying the numeric values to fit the hypothesis of the manuscript
falsified ELISA graphs for the concentration of TNF-α in the aAB IL-6 mice and their controls in Figure 6j of the Nature Medicine manuscript showing the effect of rosiglitazone treatment in the mice, by multiplying the experimental values by 100 to match the magnitude of the values presented in Figures 21, 6h, and 6i of the Nature Medicine manuscript
falsified the RT-PCR results presented in the Nature Medicine manuscript for quantification of iNOS and TNF-α RNA expression by claiming that the results represent the rmean of three identical experiments when the three experiments were normalized differently to yield the desired result. Specifically, false results were presented for peritoneal macrophages treated in vivo with rosiglitazone and/or inhibitors of PPARγ signaling Figures 1g, 1h, and 1i, and for iNOS RNA expresssion in IL6-/- macrophages treated in vitro with either SOCS3 antisense oligonucleotides in Figure 2g or the STAT3 decoy in Figure 2j.
Nothing on the Mol Biol Cell website indicates that Doreian’s article has been retracted, but we’re guessing that will change shortly.
Doreian also has a 2008 paper in the Journal of Neuroscience, “Myosin II Activation and Actin Reorganization Regulate the Mode of Quantal Exocytosis in Mouse Adrenal Chromaffin Cells,” that isn’t mentioned in the ORI report and does not appear to be tainted. It has been cited 35 times.
Doreian has agreed to a three-year settlement in which his research activities will be supervised. That may be moot, however. Doreian seems to have created a career outside the lab as the head of a firm that helps patent attorneys pass the bar.