The U.S. Office of Research Integrity has come down hard on a Eric J. Smart, an NIH-funded former University of Kentucky nutrition researcher who faked data in ten published papers and seven grant applications over the past decade.
A prominent researcher at the University of Florida is under federal investigation for research misconduct and has lost at least one paper as a result of the fraud.
The researcher, Nasser Chegini, was a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the U of Florida until about six months ago, when he retired, according to the chair’s office. Nasser has received at least $4 million in federal grant funding, according to the university.
The retracted paper, “MicroRNA 21: response to hormonal therapies and regulatory function in leiomyoma, transformed leiomyoma and leiomyosarcoma cells,” was published in 2010 by Molecular Human Reproduction. The authors were Qun Pan and Xiaoping Luo and Chegini.
As two retraction notices in the September 15 issue of the Journal of Immunology note:
On October 19, 1995, the Office of Research Integrity at the National Institutes of Health found that Weishu Y. Weiser, Ph.D., formerly of the Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, committed scientific misconduct by falsifying data in biomedical research supported by two Public Health Service grants. As a result, she agreed to submit a letter to The Journal of Immunology to retract this article. The offices of The Journal of Immunology have no record of receiving such a letter and hence the article is now being retracted.
Shane Mayack, a former post-doc in Harvard lab of Amy Wagers, a rising star in the stem cell field, has been sanctioned by the Office of Research Integrity for misconduct.
Mayack, who has defended her actions on this blog as honest error — albeit sloppiness — and has not admitted to wrongdoing, must undergo supervision if she receives any federal grant funding over the next three years, under the voluntary agreement.
There has been plenty of interest in scientific fraud and misconduct lately — and not just on Retraction Watch — from major news outlets and government agencies, among other parties. The rate of retractions is increasing, and some fraudsters are even setting new records. That has focused attention on how institutions can prevent misconduct — not something anyone thinks is easy to do.
Peter Francis, a former Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) eye researcher, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI) for claiming, in grant applications, to have performed experiments that he hadn’t actually done.
In two unrelated cases, the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has sanctioned a grad student and a pair of colleagues, one of whom plagiarized and the other allowed the intellectual theft to go unchecked.
We think the handling of these cases — both first noted briefly by The Chronicle of Higher Education — is worth noting.
In the wake of the massive allegations of fraud by resveratrol researcher Dipak Das, other researchers in the field are clearly trying to distance themselves from the University of Connecticut scientist. Nir Barzilai told us yesterday, for example, that despite Das seemingly’ impressive publication record, “Rome was not built on Dr. Das.”