Investigation prompts 5th retraction for cancer researcher for “unresolvable concerns”

3.coverAn investigation at the University of New South Wales in Australia has led to a fifth retraction for a cancer researcher long accused of misconduct, due to “unresolvable concerns” with some images.

As we reported in December, UNSW cleared Levon Khachigian of misconduct, concluding that his previous issues stemmed from “genuine error or honest oversight.” Now, Circulation Research is retracting one of his papers after an investigation commissioned by UNSW was unable to find electronic records for two similar images from a 2009 paper, nor records of the images in original lab books.

Again, the retraction note affirms that this is not a sign of misconduct:

UNSW has not attributed any instance of research misconduct or responsibility for the unavailability of the original data to Professor Khachigian or to any of the authors of the publication.

Here’s the retraction note in full for “Angiotensin II-Inducible Smooth Muscle Cell Apoptosis Involves the Angiotensin II Type 2 Receptor, GATA-6 Activation, and FasL-Fas Engagement:” Continue reading Investigation prompts 5th retraction for cancer researcher for “unresolvable concerns”

Cancer researcher cleared of misconduct, inquiry finds “genuine error or honest oversight”

Khachigian
Levon Khachigian

An investigation at the University of New South Wales in Australia has determined that a long-accused cancer researcher did not commit misconduct.

The investigation did find instances when Levon Khachigian breached the code of conduct, but Continue reading Cancer researcher cleared of misconduct, inquiry finds “genuine error or honest oversight”

JBC issues correction for paper by Khachigian, who has had four others retracted

jbc1113The Journal of Biological Chemistry has a fairly gory correction — we’d call it a mega-correction — for a 2010 paper by Levon Khachigian, an Australian researcher whose studies of a new drug for skin cancer recently were halted over concerns about possible misconduct, including image manipulation. As we reported earlier this year, Khachigian has already lost four papers, including one in the JBC — which the journal simply noted had “been withdrawn by the authors.”

The new correction involves the article “c-Jun regulates shear- and injury-inducible Egr-1 expression, vein graft stenosis after autologous end-to-side transplantation in rabbits, and intimal hyperplasia in human saphenous veins,” which Khachigian wrote with Jun Ni and Alla Waldman. The paper has been cited nine times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. Here’s the notice: Continue reading JBC issues correction for paper by Khachigian, who has had four others retracted

Aussie university halts trials of skin cancer drug whose developer has four retractions

khachigian
Khachigian

An Australian university has put a hold on trials of an experimental drug for skin cancer whose main developer has been dogged by charges of research misconduct for several years.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that the University of New South Wales has suspended trials of the drug, DZ13, while it investigates the work of Levon Khachigian, who is leading the studies.

According to the news organization, Khachigian and his group were cleared by the school in two prior inquiries. However, additional accusations of misconduct — specifically involving image manipulation and misuse — prompted a third investigation.

We’ve found four retractions of Khachigian’s studies, from the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, between 2009 and 2010 (before the launch of Retraction Watch).

They are: Continue reading Aussie university halts trials of skin cancer drug whose developer has four retractions