Biologist loses second paper — again, for unvalidated figures

Cellular SignallingA researcher at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has retracted a second paper after a review found the figures didn’t match the original data.  

Last year, we reported on a previous retraction of a paper co-authored by biologist Alan Levine in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, which was pulled for the exact same reason; even the retraction notices use similar language. The first author on both papers is Debasmita Mandal, also listed at Case Western Reserve University.

Here’s the retraction notice for “REDOX regulation of IL-13 signaling in intestinal epithelial cells: usage of alternate pathways mediates distinct gene expression patterns,” published by Cellular Signalling:

This article has been retracted at the request of the corresponding author and the authors’ institution, Case Western Reserve University.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 2010 paper, which has been questioned on PubPeer since June 2014, has been cited 27 times, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science

In February 2015, Levine was granted the Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research, receiving $3.9 million from the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

A Case Western spokesperson declined to comment on the retraction.

Since the previous retraction was issued more than one year ago, we contacted the journal to ask when they were alerted to the problems with the paper. We also contacted Levine, but weren’t able to find current contact details for Mandal.

We’ll update the post with anything else we learn.

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