A retired obstetrics and gynecology professor under federal investigation for misconduct has notched his ninth retraction.
The latest retraction stems from an investigation by the University of Florida, where Nasser Chegini worked until 2012, which found fabricated data in three figures in a paper on the muscle cells that line the uterus.
The paper, “Differential expression of microRNAs in myometrium and leiomyomas and regulation by ovarian steroids,” was published in The Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. It’s been cited 74 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.
Here’s the note:
The above article, published online on 20 December 2007 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief, Professor L Popescu and John Wiley and Sons Ltd. The retraction has been requested by the University of Florida, Office of Research, in response to their investigation which concluded fabrication of data in Figures 2, 3 and 4.
The figures each show expressions of different miRNAs in muscle cells found in the uterus. We’re not sure exactly what part of that data was fabricated. The other authors — Xiaoping Luo and Qun Pan — also co-authored some of Chegini’s other pulled papers.
A spokesperson at the University of Florida told us that the Office of Research Integrity is still looking into Chegini’s work:
I am sorry to tell you that the case remains under investigation, and we are unable to provide additional information about it.
An email to Chegini’s UF address bounced back, and we couldn’t find current contact information. We contacted the publishing editors of the journal for more information (the Editor in Chief passed away just before the note was published) and will update this post if we hear back.