A former cancer researcher has falsified data in 11 studies, according to the results of a investigation scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow.
The Office of Research Integrity’s findings are based on an inquiry at Virginia Commonwealth University, where Girija Dasmahapatra worked until July of this year, investigating possible therapies for cancer. The misconduct affected research funded by three grants from the National Institutes of Health. Steven Grant, a researcher at VCU, is the principal investigator on the grants, each of which total over $2 million in funding. All of the 11 affected papers will be corrected or retracted, according to the ORI notice.
Thanks to some eagle-eyed readers, we’ve been alerted to some corrections for high profile stem cell scientist Jacob Hanna that we had missed, bringing our count to one retraction and 13 errata on 10 papers.
The problems in the work range from duplications of images, to inadvertent deletions in figures, to failures by his co-authors to disclose funding sources or conflicts of interest. Hanna is the first or last author on 4 of the papers, and one of several on the rest.
First up, a correction to a Cell paper on which Hanna is the first author:
Cell biologist Jacob Hanna, the highly cited stem cell researcher currently at the Weizmann Institute of Science, has posted a long erratum for a 2005 paper in Blood for “inadvertent mistakes,” among other issues; soon after, Hanna’s team issued another erratum for a 2009 Cell Stem Cell paper.
There’s more to tell: Last month, commenters on PubPeer noticed that images from at least 10 of the research papers Hanna coauthored in seven journals — that commenters had posted on the image hosting website Imgur and linked to on PubPeer — had been deleted.
Imgur did not confirm whether these specific images had been deleted, but told Retraction Watch:
Blood has retracted two 2013 illustrations of red cells by researchers from South Africa and the United States because, somewhat confusingly, they didn’t conform to the journal’s criteria for publishing such material.
A stem cell journal is retracting a paper by Gerold Feuer, a researcher at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse who was also found to have misused grants.
The Feuer story is complicated. Heralded in 2008 for landing $6.2 million in grants from the New York Stem Cell Board, Feuer was suspended in October 2010 while the university investigated allegations he had misused funds, specifically to funnel state dollars to HuMurine, a company he founded in 2008. In December 2010, Upstate said they had found evidence he had committed 53 acts of financial misconduct, and dismissed him.