A year after ORI report, hematology journal retracts faked paper

bloodA year after an ORI report discredited the work of former University of Washington in Seattle researcher Andrew Aprikyan, one of the papers named in the report has finally been retracted.

Here’s the notice for “Impaired survival of bone marrow hematopoietic progenitor cells in cyclic neutropenia”: 

The Editors of Blood retract the above-cited publication. An Office of Research Integrity (ORI) report states that an investigation conducted by the University of Washington, where the original research was performed, and additional analysis conducted by the ORI found evidence that Dr. Andrew Aprikyan engaged in research misconduct. The report specifically points out that the reported methodology for flow cytometry experiments was falsified for results presented in Figures 4, 5, and 6.

Andrew A.G. Aprikyan, Elin Rodger, Mechthild Jonas, Emil Y. Chi and David C. Dale do not agree to the retraction and maintain that no misconduct was committed. W. Conrad Liles could not be reached for response.

It’s not clear why the journal waited a year to act once the ORI report — of an investigation that took a decade, we should note — was out. Another paper in Blood had been retracted early on by the authors, in 2004. When reached for a comment, a spokesperson for Blood said simply:

We do not comment on retracted articles and hope that the explanation provided on the Blood website is self-explanatory.

According to the ORI report, in the paper that’s just been retracted, Aprikyan

falsified the reported methodology for flow cytometry experiments in Figure 4A, NEM, Figure 1 and 2, and Tables 2 and 3, CMA, and Figures 4, 5, and 6, ISB, to validate the key hypothesis showing accelerated apoptosis in SCN and CN patients. The methodology claimed that flow cytometry experiments were gated for GFP+ populations, or that cell purity was greater than 96%, when based on the available original records, the experiments were not performed as stated.

5 thoughts on “A year after ORI report, hematology journal retracts faked paper”

  1. You might cite the facts in your earlier report on this case (which was your first link above) to remind the readers [when you state “once the ORI report — of an investigation that took a decade, we should note] – that it was not ORI that took a decade. Rather, per the link (http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2011851258_aprikyan13m.html), there were seven years of the respondent contesting the long university investigation, including in State Appeals Court to 2010, before ORI could start its review — extended defensive actions that were undertaken by the respondent that led to the prolonged period..

    1. I mean this comment in the most respectful manner possible. Why is it that every time there is a criticism of ORI, that only one person, Alan Price, at least as far as I have seen over about 2 years, comes to its defense? It seems odd to me that a ORI retiree would be avidly defending ORI each and every time here at RW. Given the high profile nature of RW, and the close link of so many stories to ORI, is there no PR department in ORI that could offer a current (as opposed to retired) opinion and stance of this organization? One often hears claims of wastefl spending by ORI, so it makes me wonder if ORI is so under-staffed that it is unable to send out a person to clarify these very important facts that are unclear.

      1. Respectfully, it is because some people (like one in Japan with no involvement in ORI or US Science) make totally uniformed critical comments about ORI that have no basis in fact — that someone like me, who continues to talk at an ORI boot camp or conference, write papers on ORI history, and consult on ORI cases, with actual knowledge of what ORI has done and continues to do – will have to provide the actual facts to inform RW readers.

        It would totally inappropriate to waste US taxpayer funds to pay for a “PR department in ORI” as you suggest, and the Public Information Office for HHS covers all of US public health, so knows very little about what ORI does. However, ORI scientists have always been willing to talk to anyone who calls and ask questions about ORI policies and practices, including private persons or staff for RW, PubPeer, Science, etc. It seems to me from RW that you are one of the only ones who “often hears claims of wasteful spending by ORI.” That claim s simply not true, and never has been, for the ORI scientists who handle the oversight of investigations – and they cannot waste their time responding to uninformed commentors on blogs. But being retired from ORI yet still very active in the research misconduct field, I have time to comment — respectfully, less than you do, on almost every RW posting yourself.

  2. Dr. Andranik Andrew Aprikyan
    Founder, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), and Vice President

    Dr. Aprikyan is a Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, Vice President of Stemgenics, and the inventor of the Stemgenics nanoparticle reprogramming technology. Formerly he was a Research Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine Hematology/Oncology, University of Washington. Dr. Aprikyan’s 25 years of research and teaching experience mostly at the University of Washington School of Medicine first as a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow and then as faculty in the School of Medicine Hematology/Oncology set the stage for his recent discoveries.

    For the last 15 years, his focus has been molecular biology, correction of pathological conditions triggered by various gene mutations, and therapeutic potential of human pluripotent stem cells, bone marrow stem/progenitor cells and more specialized cell types. This research and recent scientific discoveries led to the development of the Stemgenics nanoparticle reprogramming technology. Dr. Aprikyan has 25 published journal articles in peer-reviewed journals.


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