A former postdoc at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York faked data in four published papers, one submitted manuscript, and four NIH grant applications, according to new findings by the Office of Research Integrity.
We reported on six retractions from Savio Woo’s Mount Sinai lab in 2010, from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and two each from Human Gene Therapy and Molecular Therapy. The PNAS paper, as we noted then:
claimed to have discovered a possible cure for phenylketonuria, or PKU, in mice—a finding that was cited more than 30 times and trumpeted in the media.
At the time, Mount Sinai said that two of the lab’s postdocs had been dismissed for misconduct. Now, more than three and a half years later, the ORI reports that a former postdoc in that lab, Li Chen: Continue reading Former Mount Sinai postdoc faked gene therapy data: ORI
An unusual note went out to reporters on the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) press list yesterday:
Please disregard this MTM, which was sent out on Friday June 29, 2012. The data in the study changed so we are no longer putting out a press release for the study.
The original release was headlined:
Percent Density May Be As Strong a Risk Factor as Variation in Breast Density for Breast Cancer
MTM stands for “memo to the media.” What wasn’t clear was whether the new notice meant the release was being pulled back, or the study itself, but the JNCI press office said it was just the release.
But the Mayo Clinic’s Celine Vachon told Retraction Watch: Continue reading Confusion as JNCI yanks press release on embargoed breast density-cancer study after authors see error
The retraction last week of a commentary in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) looks like a nice — and very quick — example of self-correction in science.
The commentary, “Designing a randomized clinical trial to evaluate personalized medicine: a new approach based on risk prediction,” was co-authored by Stuart Baker and Daniel Sargent, and published in the December 1, 2010 issue. The journal published the retraction, and a letter that contained the re-analysis that led to it, on January 12.
The retraction notice: Continue reading A lightning-fast JNCI retraction shows how science should work
More on the case of Savio Woo, the New York gene therapy researcher who, as Retraction Watch reported this week, had several papers pulled by noted journals.
Two of Woo’s post-doctoral fellows at Mount Sinai School of Medicine were dismissed for “research misconduct,” said Ian Michaels, a spokesman for the institution. According to Michaels:
When Dr. Savio L C Woo came to suspect that two post-doctoral fellows in his laboratory may have engaged in research misconduct he notified the Mount Sinai Research Integrity Office. Mount Sinai immediately initiated institutional reviews that resulted in both post-doctoral fellows being dismissed for research misconduct. At no time were there allegations that Dr. Woo had engaged in research misconduct. As part of its review, the investigation committee looked into this possibility and confirmed that no research misconduct could be attributed to Dr. Woo, who voluntarily retracted the papers regarding the research in question. Mount Sinai reported the results of its investigations to the appropriate government agencies and continues to cooperate with them as part of its commitment to adhere to the highest standards for research integrity.
We have plenty of other questions for Mount Sinai about the details of the investigation—including when the post-docs were let go, which Michaels declined to answer—and will update when we learn more.
Research from the lab of Savio Woo, a leading U.S. gene therapy scientist, has come into question with the retraction by major journals of at least four of his articles.
The papers, which appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Human Gene Therapy, involve findings published between 2005 and 2009, address various aspect of gene therapy. Two of the articles boasted of potential breakthroughs, and even a possible cure, for diseases with extremely high rates of mortality.
The study in JNCI, for example, reported the finding of a genetically modified bacterium that showed promise for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, a particularly lethal malignancy, and other tumor types. Another, published in 2005 in PNAS, claimed to have discovered a possible cure for phenylketonuria, or PKU, in mice—a finding that was cited more than 30 times and trumpeted in the media.
However, in a retraction notice issued this month, Woo wrote that: Continue reading Work from noted gene therapy researcher Savio Woo under scrutiny with slew of retractions