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.
The ORI found that H. Rosie Xing, a former assistant professor at the University of Chicago,
engaged in research misconduct (42 CFR 93.103-104) by using images that had been among a set of manipulated images produced while at another institution, which had been found to be false by that institution. ORI found that Respondent falsely reported these images in Figures 1D, 2A, and Supplementary Figures 1Band 1C in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 9:2724-36, 2010. The Respondent does not agree with ORI’s finding of research misconduct and asserts that there are extenuating circumstances for her actions.
The paper, “Pharmacologic Inactivation of Kinase Suppressor of Ras1 Sensitizes Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and Oncogenic Ras-Dependent Tumors to Ionizing Radiation Treatment” has been cited five times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge, and has not been retracted.
Although the ORI does not say which institution found Xing’s images to have been false, she recently retracted two papers from the Journal of Biological Chemistry, that she co-authored while at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Xing agreed to have her Federally-funded work supervised for three years, and not to serve on any NIH peer review committees for the same amount of time.
In a second unrelated case, according to the ORI, James Warne, formerly of UCSF, faked data in two NIH grant applications, and in two papers. One of the papers, “Coordinated Regulation of Hepatic Energy Stores by Leptin and Hypothalamic Agouti-Related Protein,” was published in the Journal of Neuroscience and retracted in October. The other, “Impairment of central leptin-mediated PI3K signaling manifested as hepatic steatosis independent of hyperphagia and obesity,” published in Cell Metabolism in 2011 and cited 17 times.
Warne made up
graphs purported to represent the results of ten (10) different ELISA experiments measuring norephinephrin (NE) or leptin levels in wild-type mice, in AGRP knockout mice, or in AGRP RNAi mice and controls that had received brain infusions of alpha-MPT, a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor or vehicle and leptin or AGRP
graphs purported to represent the results of six (6) different quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR) experiments measuring mRNA levels in mouse liver from wild-type or AGRP RNAi mice and controls that had received brain infusions of alpha-MPT, a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor or vehicle and leptin, AGRP knockout mice injected with ethanol, or wild-type mice injected with ethanol and caffeine
Warne agreed to the same sanctions as Xing.