Georgia State researcher has two papers retracted, eight flagged. He’s not happy about it.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry has retracted two papers by a Georgia State University researcher, as well as flagged eight more with expressions of concern, a move the scientist called “unfair and unjustified.”

Ming-Hui Zou, the common author on all ten papers — as well as on two more that have been corrected by the same journal — is, according to Georgia State,

an internationally recognized researcher in molecular and translational medicine and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Molecular Medicine and associate vice president for research at Georgia State University…

Zou was at the University of Oklahoma when the papers in question were published. He moved to Georgia State in 2015.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Reactive nitrogen species is required for the activation of the AMP-activated protein kinase by statin in vivo,” published in 2008 Zou as the last author: 

Continue reading Georgia State researcher has two papers retracted, eight flagged. He’s not happy about it.

A university requested retractions of eight papers. It took journals a year to yank four of them.

Dee’lite via Flickr

On March 30, 2018, The Ohio State University (OSU) released a 75-page report concluding that Ching-Shih Chen, a cancer researcher, had deviated “from the accepted practices of image handling and figure generation and intentionally falsifying data.” The report recommended the retraction of eight papers.

By the end of August of 2018, Chen had had four papers retracted — one in Cancer Research, two in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and one in PLoS ONE.

But it wasn’t until more than a year after the report was released that the other four papers — two from Carcinogenesis, one from Clinical Cancer Research, and one from Molecular Cellular Therapeutics — were retracted, all between April 1 and May 1 of this year.

What took so long? Your guess is as good as ours; none of the editors of those journals responded to our requests for comment.

Continue reading A university requested retractions of eight papers. It took journals a year to yank four of them.

Harvard cancer lab subject to federal misconduct probe

Sam W. Lee, a Harvard researcher — or perhaps former Harvard researcher — who has lost three papers to retraction, including one from Nature, now has an expression of concern for another article, this one in Molecular and Cellular Biology.

The notice for that paper, 2000’s “Overexpression of Kinase-Associated Phosphatase (KAP) in Breast and Prostate Cancer and Inhibition of the Transformed Phenotype by Antisense KAP Expression,” reads: Continue reading Harvard cancer lab subject to federal misconduct probe

Joseph Thomas just earned $33.8 million in a $112.5 million settlement with Duke. Here’s his story.

Joseph Thomas

Tomorrow is Joe Thomas’s 35th birthday. And earlier this week, he received quite a birthday present, even if it wasn’t intended that way: Thomas earned a $33.75 million payout from a lawsuit he filed against Duke University six years ago.

As Retraction Watch readers may recall, Thomas was the whistleblower in a case alleging scientific misconduct that Duke settled yesterday for $112.5 million. Our Ivan Oransky has an exclusive profile of him — including how he “celebrated” the settlement — at Medscape. Continue reading Joseph Thomas just earned $33.8 million in a $112.5 million settlement with Duke. Here’s his story.

Duke settles case alleging data doctoring for $112.5 million

Retraction Watch readers may recall the name Erin Potts-Kant. We’ve been reporting on retractions by Potts-Kant, a former lab tech at Duke, since 2013. (The count is now 17.) Along the way, we learned that she had been convicted of embezzlement, but that there was a bigger story: There was a False Claims Act case against Duke, Potts-Kant, and Michael Foster, in whose lab she worked, alleging that the university had known that faked data had been included in grant applications.

The case has now settled, for what Duke acknowledges is a “substantial” sum of $112.5 million. That means the whistleblower, another former lab tech, will earn more than $30 million. For details, head over to Ivan’s story on Medscape. Continue reading Duke settles case alleging data doctoring for $112.5 million

Eyes wide shut at vision journal as retraction notice misses the point

Photo by Steve H.

Molecular Vision appears to have been flying blind when it retracted a 2013 paper by Rajendra Kadam and colleagues.

In December 2018, Kadam, a former “golden boy” in pharmaceutical research at the University of Colorado, Denver, was the subject of a finding from the U.S. Office of Research Integrity, which stated that he had fabricated his data. As part of the agreement, Kadam agreed to retract a paper in Molecular Vision. .

Kadam, who in 2016 had his doctoral degree revoked by UC Denver, two years after the university completed an investigation and sent its finding to the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), now has eight retractions, two expressions of concern and a correction. Seven of them mention fabrication of data. But Molecular Vision, the most recent addition to the list, does not.

The paper was titled “Suprachoroidal delivery in a rabbit ex vivo eye model: influence of drug properties, regional differences in delivery, and comparison with intravitreal and intracameral routes.” Its retraction notice, issued February 18, states: Continue reading Eyes wide shut at vision journal as retraction notice misses the point

A university thought its misconduct investigation was complete. Then a PubPeer comment appeared.

When Venkata Sudheer Kumar Ramadugu, then a postdoc at the University of Michigan, admitted to the university on June 28 of last year that he had committed research misconduct in a paper that appeared in Chemical Communications in 2017, he also “attested that he did not manipulate any data in his other four co-authored publications published while at the University of Michigan.”

And so, a few days later, Michael J. Imperiale, the university’s research integrity officer, wrote a letter to the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) informing them of the findings. On August 2, Ramadagu was terminated from Michigan. And on August 3, Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy, the head of the lab where Ramadagu had worked, wrote a letter to Chemical Communications requesting retraction of the paper.

While the retraction would not appear until the end of November, and ORI sanctions not announced until the end of December, Michigan’s responsibilities seemed to have been discharged as of early August. But documents obtained by Retraction Watch through a public records request detail how that was not the end of the story. Continue reading A university thought its misconduct investigation was complete. Then a PubPeer comment appeared.

Study claiming hate cuts 12 years off gay lives retracted

Low Library, Columbia University

After years of back and forth, a highly cited paper that appeared to show that gay people who live in areas where people were highly prejudiced against them had a significantly shorter life expectancy has been retracted.

The paper, “Structural stigma and all-cause mortality in sexual minority populations,”  was published in 2014 by Mark Hatzenbuehler of Columbia University and colleagues. As we reported last year, Mark Regnerus, of the University of Texas at Austin, published a paper describing his failed attempts to replicate the study in 2016: Continue reading Study claiming hate cuts 12 years off gay lives retracted

Why journal editors should dig deeper when authors ask for a retraction

Imagine you’re a journal editor. A group of authors sends you a request to retract one of their papers, saying that “during figure assembly certain images were inappropriately processed.”

What do you do next? Do you ask some tough questions about just what “inappropriately processed” means? Do you check your files for whether the author’s institution had told you about an investigation into the work? Do you Google the author’s names? Do you…search Retraction Watch?

It seems unlikely that any of those things happened in the case of a recent retraction from Nature Communications, or, if they did, they don’t seem to have informed the notice. We don’t know for sure, because, as is typical, the journal isn’t saying much. But here’s what we do know. Continue reading Why journal editors should dig deeper when authors ask for a retraction

Is it time for a new research integrity board in the U.S.?

C. K. Gunsalus

Nearly two years ago, a report from the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) called for a new advisory board that would promote research integrity and tackle misconduct. That board does not yet exist, but today in Nature, five authors, led by C. K. Gunsalus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, argue that it should, and describe next steps in its creation. We asked Gunsalus a few questions about the idea.

Retraction Watch (RW): Tell us what the research policy board would do. Who would fund it? Continue reading Is it time for a new research integrity board in the U.S.?