A biologist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio has retracted a paper from Inflammatory Bowel Diseases after a university review found the figures within it could not be “validated by original data.”
The 2010 paper, “Elevated IL-13Rα2 in intestinal epithelial cells from ulcerative colitis or colorectal cancer initiates MAPK pathway,” concerns the elevated expression and role of an inflammatory protein in colon cancer cells.
According to the notice, corresponding author and biologist Alan Levine — who recently received a $3.9 million Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse — requested the retraction.
Here’s the full notice:
At the request of the authors, the Editors and Publisher retract the article “Elevated IL‐13Ra2 in intestinal epithelial cells from ulcerative colitis or colorectal cancer initiates MAPK pathway” by Mandal and Levine published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (Vol. 16, pp. 753–764, May 2010). This article has been retracted at the request of the corresponding author and the author’s institution, Case Western Reserve University. In a formal university process, the institution reviewed the data and figures associated with this article and concluded that the figures cannot be validated by original data.
The paper has been cited 21 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
In June, a PubPeer commenter described portions of the paper’s figures that appeared to be “very similar.” Another 2010 paper co-authored by Levine and Mandal, this time in Cellular Signaling, has also sparked a comment about figure similarity on PubPeer.
The journal publisher, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, declined to comment for this story. When we reached out to Levine, we received a response from the Case Western’s Research Integrity Officer, Tracy J. Wilson-Holden, who said the university had “no comment beyond the retraction itself.”
We’ve been unable to find contact information for co-author Debasmita Mandal.
Like Retraction Watch? Consider supporting our growth. You can also follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, add us to your RSS reader, and sign up on our homepage for an email every time there’s a new post. Click here to review our Comments Policy.