Figure dupe sinks cell bio paper

cellular biohemTulane researchers Tong Wu and Chang Han, who have been anonymously accused of figure duplication in the past, have now finally lost a paper for that reason.

The frequent plagiarism tipster Juuichi Jigen (a pseudonym) set up a blog in 2012 alleging that the pair inappropriately reused images in six other papers, though none of those have been retracted. The recent notice, issued at the end of January by the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, states that the figure duplication was confirmed by the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Research Integrity. Han, the first author, was at UPitt when the paper was published in 2008, though she moved to join Wu at Tulane in 2009.

Here’s the notice for “Regulation of Wnt/ß-Catenin Pathway by cPLA2α and PPARδ“:

The above article from the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, published online on 17 July 2008 in Wiley Online Library (, has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editors and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The retraction follows an investigation by the Office of Research Integrity at the University of Pittsburgh which concluded that Figures 2 and 5 used the same images to represent two different experiments.

We’ve reached out to the journal, the authors, and Tulane, but haven’t heard back from anyone. A University of Pittsburgh spokesperson declined to comment.

All we can hope for is that this retraction will result in another Juichi Jigen masterpiece like this 2012 YouTube video, which accused a prominent cell biologist of image manipulation. Be sure to watch it with the sound on.

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