That’s about as much as we know: The retraction notice provides few details about the nature of the issue, only that the authors—most of whom work at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey—could not provide the original data for the recently published figures.
The paper, published in American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology, was retracted October 1, just over four months after appearing online in mid-May.
While at Penn State, the paper’s corresponding author Alaa Awad received more than $1 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health for his work exploring the role of the enzyme arginase in diabetic nephropathy and end stage renal disease (including the research from the 2017 paper). In 2013, Awad was also awarded $765,000 by healthcare company Novo Nordisk for his research on treatments for diabetic kidney disease.
Here’s the notice for “Arginase-2 mediates renal ischemia-reperfusion injury:”
In this article, Figs. 2E, 7, and 14 have been constructed inappropriately, and the original data for images in Figs. 2E, 7 and 14 could not be provided. Therefore, the article is being retracted at the request of all the authors. The authors apologize to the scientific community for any inconvenience caused by this publication.
The 2017 paper has only been cited by the notice, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.
A spokesperson for the American Physiological Society, which publishes the journal, declined to comment on “any perceived or actual ethical infractions” related to the paper.
Candice Yekel, associate vice president for research at Penn State, also refused to “share any details related to allegations (or if we received any such allegations) as this process is confidential.”
We reached out to Awad, who now works at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, but did not hear back.
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