Researcher leaves Wistar Institute as he retracts a Nature paper

Farokh Dotiwala

A group of researchers at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia have retracted a paper in Nature for data discrepancies and inconsistencies — as well as missing data. And one of the corresponding authors has left the institution, Retraction Watch has learned.

The paper, “IspH inhibitors kill Gram-negative bacteria and mobilize immune clearance,” was published in December 2020 and has been cited 7 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.

Here’s the notice:

The authors wish to retract this Article owing to recently uncovered discrepancies between the published Source Data underlying panels in Extended Data Figs. 4, 6 and 7 and the data that were obtained. They have discovered multiple inconsistencies in the data points reported in the published Source Data files. In addition, original source datasets in support of individual panels in Figs. 1, 2 and 4 and Extended Data Figs. 5 and 10 are currently unaccounted for. Together, these issues decrease confidence in the integrity of the experimental findings reported. As such, the authors believe that the most appropriate course of action at this point is to retract this Article in its entirety. The authors sincerely apologize to the scientific community for any confusion and any unintended harm derived from the publication of this paper. All authors agree with the Retraction.

Farokh Dotiwala, one of the two corresponding authors of the paper, has left the Wistar Institute, according to a spokesperson who responded “no comment” to follow-ups about why he left and whether there was an investigation into his work. Dotiwala was appointed to the institute as an assistant professor in 2017

The other corresponding author, Joseph Salvino, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The authors of a Nature News & Views article about the study have also retracted it.

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