Second of 3 retractions appears for biologist, the result of “a substantial number of falsifications”

Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 10.19.01 AMA cell biologist who falsifed Western blots has notched a second retraction, with one more expected after a investigation at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

First author Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy, now apparently a research fellow at Harvard, did not agree to the retraction, the result of “a substantial number of falsifications.”

In December, we covered the results of the NTU investigation, where Lokireddy used to work. During that investigation, he admitted to falsifying data, Research Integrity Officer Tony Mayer told us. The end result: three retractions.

One of those papers was retracted by Cell Metabolism in December. The second paper, published in Molecular Endocrinology, has been cited 52 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. The retraction note explains which figures were falsified:

Molecular Endocrinology received official notification that the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) conducted an in-depth investigation following allegations of research malpractice in the article “Myostatin Induces Degradation of Sarcomeric Proteins Through a Smad3 Signaling Mechanism During Skeletal Muscle Wasting” by Lokireddy S, McFarlane C, Ge X, Zhang H, Sze SK, Sharma M, and Kambadur R (Mol Endocrinol. 2011;25(11): 1936 –1949; doi: 10.1210/me.2011-1124).

The investigation concerned research in myostatin that was jointly carried out by researchers from NTU, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the National University of Singapore (NUS). NTU took the lead in the investigation, after consulting with A*STAR and NUS. A substantial number of falsifications of Western blot data by the first author have been established (Figures 2C, 3C, and 6C).

All authors have agreed to the retraction except for Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy. Molecular Endocrinology retracts the paper.

You can see the doctored figures on PubPeer; commenters flagged them in December.

The paper issued an erratum from 2014 for an omission in the acknowledgement section.

The third anticipated retraction, for “Myostatin is a novel tumoral factor that induces cancer cachexia,” published in Biochemical Journal, is next. Here’s from our December story:

Clare Curtis, the Executive Editor of the Biochemical Journal, told us that the paper published in that journal will be retracted soon.

As The Scientist reports, that paper has already issued an erratum 

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