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Thread: Neuroscientist made up data in NIH grant applications, says ORI

  1. #1
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    Default Neuroscientist made up data in NIH grant applications, says ORI

    Lots of scandal lately in the scientific community. Maybe, they should try policing their own before trying to interfere with our personal medical decisions. Taxpayers fund the NIH and there are always complaints that more funding is needed. It seems he only got a slap on his hand from the NIH. I would hope that he was terminated by Gladstone, but it isn't clear whether he was or not.


    Retraction Watch
    !2/28/12

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com...ri/#more-11420


    Paul Muchowski, via Gladstone Institute

    Paul Muchowski, a neuroscience researcher at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease in San Francisco, faked data in multiple grant applications, according to findings released today by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI).

    In a funded NIH grant, R01 NS054753-06A1, and two submitted grant applications, R01 NS054753-06 and R01 NS047237-06, ORI says that Muchowski “knowingly and intentionally” committed “research misconduct by falsifying and fabricating data” as follows:

    falsely reported research experiments when the results did not exist at the time the grant applications were submitted. Specifically:
    in Figure 5 and the accompanying text of grant R01 NS054753-06A1, the Respondent described the insertion of toxic and inert mutant huntingtin (htt) fragments into maltose binding protein-Htt-Cerulean constructs with a nonpathogenic (25Q) or pathogenic (46Q) polyQ repeat, with and without Cerulean. The modified proteins were claimed to have been purified, when the constructs had not been made at the time the grant was submitted.
    in Figures 5 and 6 and the accompanying text of grant R01 NS054753-06A1, the Respondent claimed to have cloned toxic and inert mutant htt fragments into lentiviral constructs and generated lentiviruses, when the constructs were not made.
    in Figure 6 and related text in grant R01 NS054753-06A1, the Respondent claimed to have tested immunoblots of lysates from primary neurons with an antibody against mutant htt, which demonstrated that levels of htt expression in transduced cells were roughly equivalent to levels in normal neurons, when the experiment was not conducted.
    falsified Figure 3 of grant application R01 NS054753-06 by labeling the Western blot images for the expression of mutant htt in lentiviral-transduced primary neurons as ‘Cortex’ (left panel) and ‘Striatum’ (right panel), when the results were actually from the microglial cell lines N9 and BV2, respectively.
    Muchowski agreed to have his research supervised for two years, and to not serve on any NIH committees — or any at the Public Health Service, the umbrella agency of the NIH — forthe same length of time.

    The neuroscientist told Retraction Watch he had no comment, and that no papers would be retracted. His status at the Gladstone is unclear; while the ORI refers to him as a “former senior investigator,” he responded to an email sent to his Gladstone account but did not specify whether he was still employed there.

    Muchowski is widely cited, with a dozen papers cited more than 100 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. A profile in the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year described how he and his father, a retired Roche scientist, were working together on a compound to treat Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.

    Barbara

  2. #2
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    Default

    And yet another:

    Retraction Watch
    12/28/12

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com...ta/#more-11327

    Scientists retract paper because they’re “not satisfied with the quality of some of the data”


    A group of smoking researchers — no, not scientists who are on fire; scientists who study the effects of tobacco smoke — has retracted a 2009 article after deciding that they were no longer “satisfied with the quality of the data.”

    The paper, “Cigarette Smoke–induced Oxidative/Nitrosative Stress Impairs VEGF- and Fluid Shear Stress–Mediated Signaling in Endothelial Cells,” came from the lab of Irfan Rahman, a lung disease expert at the University of Rochester. It appeared online in 2009 in Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, which will be familiar to readers watching the case of Dipak Das.

    As the notice explains:

    The corresponding author has sought retraction of this work from ARS. The author statement is copied below: We, the authors, wish to retract “Cigarette Smoke–induced Oxidative/Nitrosative Stress Impairs VEGF- and Fluid Shear Stress–Mediated Signaling in Endothelial Cells” by Edirisinghe et al (Antioxid Redox Signal, 12(12): 1355-1369. doi:10.1089/ars.2009.2874) because we are not satisfied with the quality of some of the data presented in the paper. Overall, however, the data are reproducible and the conclusions drawn were not affected. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to the readers.

    The paper has been cited 18 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

    We tried to reach Rahman for more information but haven’t heard back from him yet. We’d like to know in particular why it took three years for the authors to figure out that they published an article with subpar data — and how those data could in turn be reproducible, exactly.

    And anyway, how is it possible that the data were so poor as to require retraction, but good enough to be reproducible, and not damaging to the study conclusions? The short answer: Doesn’t seem likely.

    Perhaps the “copied below” note in the second sentence of the notice reflects the same skepticism on the part of the editors. We’ve tried them for comment too.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.

    Barbara

  3. #3
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    Default ORI sanctions former Texas Tech postdoc for falsification, fabrication, plagiarism

    And yet another one..................

    Retraction Watch
    12/28/12

    The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) has sanctioned a former Texas Tech postdoc for using data that had actually been generated before he joined the lab in a paper as if it were new.

    Shuang-Qing Zhang, according to today’s announcement by the ORI, “engaged in research misconduct by the falsification and fabrication of plagiarized data in a paper he wrote with his supervisor, Reza Mehvar, “Determination of dextra-methylprednisolone conjugate with glycine linker in rat plasma and liver by high-performance liquid chromatography and its application in pharmacokinetics,” first published online in Biomedical Chromatography in 2009.

    The work was supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant R01 GM069869. The ORI found that Zhang had:

    falsified Figures 2(c) and 3(c) of the BC 2010 article by misrepresenting HPLC data that he had plagiarized, originally generated prior to the Respondent’s arrival in the laboratory by a former postdoctoral researcher; in Figure 2(c), the Respondent claimed that the HPLC chromatogram was of a “plasma sample obtained 12 h after intravenous injection of DMP to rats at a single dose of 5 mg/kg,” while the actual chromatogram was of a calibration test of 1 μg/ml of DMP added to rat plasma, and similarly in Figure 3(c), the Respondent claimed that the HPLC chromatogram was of a “liver homogenate obtained 3 h after intravenous dose of DMP at a dose of 5 mg/kg,” while the actual chromatogram was of a calibration test of 2 μg/ml DMP added to rat liver homogenate.
    falsified and fabricated Figure 4 of the BC 2010 article; in the top panel, the Respondent reported the measurement of DMP concentrations in plasma samples of three rats after a single injection of 5 mg/kg DMP while the actual data that he had plagiarized, originally generated prior to the Respondent’s arrival in the laboratory by a former postdoctoral researcher, was from a single rat. In the bottom panel, the Respondent reported the measurement of DMP concentrations in liver samples obtained from three rats at 1, 30, 90, 180, 300, and 720 minutes after a single injection of 5 mg/kg DMP, requiring a total of 18 rats, while the actual data that he had plagiarized, originally generated prior to the Respondent’s arrival in the laboratory by a former postdoctoral researcher, was from plasma samples from a single rat, and the error bars for both panels were fabricated.
    Zhang has agreed to have his research supervised for three years, and to not serve on any committees of the Public Health Service — the parent organization of the NIH — for the same amount of time.

    The Biomedical Chromatography paper was retracted in 2010:

    The following article from Biomedical Chromatography, Determination of dextra-methylprednisolone conjugate with glycine linker in rat plasma and liver by high-performance liquid chromatography and its application in pharmacokinetics by Shuang-Qing Zhang and Reza Mehvar, published online on June 1st 2009 in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com), has been retracted by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief, Dr Chang Kee Lim and John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. The retraction has been agreed as the research article was submitted without Dr. Mehvar’s knowledge or consent.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.

    Barbara

  4. #4
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    Default Former Harvard dental school researcher committed misconduct: ORI

    We may have to start a whole section on scientific misconduct. The reason I find this subject so important is that many in the scientific community seem to have elevated themselves onto pedestals preaching to us about unproven stem cell therapy risks, never mentioning the gross misconduct that appears to be getting more common among their fellow scientists. This is also an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars. Since many in the scientific community claim to worry about patients spending their own money on unproven therapies, where is their concern that taxpayers are funding research misconduct? This seems like a gross waste of money to me.


    Retraction Watch
    1/2/13

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com...ri/#more-11453

    Last week was a busy one at the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI), at least judging by how many cases they posted. There were sanctions against researchers at Ohio State, Texas Tech, and the Gladstone Institutes, as we reported. And it turns out there was another case closed, of a former Harvard dental school research fellow, The Scientist reports.

    According to the ORI, Martin Biosse-Duplan “engaged in research misconduct in research supported by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant R01 AR054450.”

    The misconduct involved a lab presentation and two published abstracts:

    Boisse-Duplan, M., Stephens, S., Lai, F.P.L., Oelkers, M., Kitamura, D., Rottner, K., Horne, W., & Baron, R. “The Association Between the Microtubule Plus End Protein EB1 and Cortactin Controls Podosomes and Bone Resorption.” J Bone Min Res 26:Supl.1, pS215.
    Boisse-Duplan, M., Stephens, S., Lai, F.P.L., Oelkers, M., Rottner, K., Horne, W., & Baron, R. “In Osteoclasts, Dynamic Microtubules and their Associated Protein EB1 Control Podosomes and Bone Resorption through Cortactin.” Bone 48:Suppl. 2, pS97.
    According to the ORI:

    As a result of HSM’s and HSDM’s investigation, the data were not presented at the meetings and the experiments reported in the abstracts are being redone.

    Specifically, ORI finds that Respondent:

    Falsified Powerpoint slides and spreadsheets for histomorphometric and microCT results by using the values of HS1 knockout (KO) mice and their controls to represent the CathepsinK cre- Cortactin KO mice and their controls; Dr. Biosse-Duplan also switched two sets of numbers between the HS1 KO mice and their controls to falsely demonstrate a difference in bone density when there was none. The numerical data were presented at a lab meeting, and false text was included in two submitted meeting abstracts published in Bone 48:Suppl 2, pS97 and J Bone and Mineral Research 25:Suppl 1, pS215.

    Boisse-Duplan has agreed to have any research supported by the Public Health Service — the umbrella agency of the NIH — supervised for two years, and to a two-year ban on serving on NIH peer review committees.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.

    Barbara

  5. #5
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    Default Here's the Ohio State University information

    MicroRNA Researcher Manipulated Data
    01/02/2013 Jesse Jenkins
    BioTechniques

    An Ohio State University (OSU) professor intentionally manipulated the data in six articles published from 2004–10 (1–6), according to a report published in the Federal Register by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on December 26, 2012.

    In that notice, the agency said that Terry S. Elton, OSU professor of pharmacology, engaged in research misconduct by falsifying or fabricating Western blots in those six published articles as well as in federal grant applications. As a result, the researcher has agreed to exclude himself from federal funding for three years and to request that those articles be retracted.

    Elton’s research focused on the role of microRNA expression and gene regulation in cardiovascular diseases. In a 2007 article published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, Elton and colleagues reported that a gene polymorphism associated with cardiovascular disease interferes with microRNA attenuation of that gene’s expression, possibly leading to disease (4). Since its publication, the article has been cited 139 times according to Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge. The article is among those containing manipulated figure data; it is slated for retraction.

    The research misconduct findings are the result of two OSU investigations and an oversight review by the ORI. OSU was tipped off to Elton’s research misconduct by an anonymous source who contacted ORI officials in July 2010, according to an OSU statement released by senior director of Research and Innovation Communications, Jeff Grabmeir.

    “Ohio State confirmed misconduct by Dr. Elton and has fully cooperated with the ORI over the course of its investigation. The investigation showed that Dr. Elton falsified and/or fabricated data from Western blots, a standard laboratory technique used to detect proteins,” explained Grabmeir’s statement.

    In the end, Elton has agreed to exclude himself from contracting or subcontracting with any federal agencies for three years. In addition, he has been removed from an advisory capacity to the U.S. Public Health Service for three years from November 26. He has also agreed to request that the six papers containing falsified or fabricated data be retracted.

    In addition, OSU has imposed sanctions of its own, which include a written reprimand, mandatory counseling on research misconduct, and complete formal training on research ethics. Elton will also be prohibited from supervising undergraduate or graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, or laboratory technicians for three years. Also, all manuscripts and grant applications involving Elton’s participation will require review and approval by university officials prior to submission for the next five years.

    “Ohio State University takes allegations of research misconduct seriously and will continue to work diligently to protect the integrity of research produced by members of the university community,” the statement read.

    Neither Elton nor ORI directors replied to requests for comment.

    References

    1. Kuhn, D. E., G. J. Nuovo, A. V. Terry, M. M. Martin, G. E. Malana, S. E. Sansom, A. P. Pleister, W. D. Beck, E. Head, D. S. Feldman, and T. S. Elton. 2010. Chromosome 21-derived microRNAs provide an etiological basis for aberrant protein expression in human down syndrome brains. The Journal of biological chemistry 285(2):1529-1543.

    2. Kuhn, D. E., G. J. Nuovo, M. M. Martin, G. E. Malana, A. P. Pleister, J. Jiang, T. D. Schmittgen, A. V. Terry, K. Gardiner, E. Head, D. S. Feldman, and T. S. Elton. 2008. Human chromosome 21-derived miRNAs are overexpressed in down syndrome brains and hearts. Biochemical and biophysical research communications 370(3):473-477.

    3. Martin, M. M., J. A. Buckenberger, J. Jiang, G. E. Malana, D. L. Knoell, D. S. Feldman, and T. S. Elton. 2007. TGF-β1 stimulates human AT1 receptor expression in lung fibroblasts by cross talk between the smad, p38 MAPK, JNK, and PI3K signaling pathways. American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 293(3):L790-L799.

    4. Martin, M. M., J. A. Buckenberger, J. Jiang, G. E. Malana, G. J. Nuovo, M. Chotani, D. S. Feldman, T. D. Schmittgen, and T. S. Elton. 2007. The human angiotensin II type 1 receptor +1166 A/C polymorphism attenuates MicroRNA-155 binding. Journal of Biological Chemistry 282(33):24262-24269.

    5. Duffy, A. A., M. M. Martin, and T. S. Elton. 2004. Transcriptional regulation of the AT1 receptor gene in immortalized human trophoblast cells. Biochimica et biophysica acta 1680(3):158-170.

    http://biotechniques.us1.list-manage...b&e=6e4b01d0f4
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.

    Barbara

  6. #6
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    Default

    They are rolling in today. Her research wasn't funded by the NIH, but it's astonishing to read the amount of misconduct she is responsible for as well as embezzling grant funds. This study had been cited 29 times which compounds the problem even more.

    Retraction Watch
    1/2/13
    Retraction three for Milena Penkowa, for diabetes-exercise study

    Milena Penkowa, the former University of Copenhagen scientist found by her university to have embezzled grant funds and to have possibly committed misconduct in 15 papers, has another retraction.

    An international panel released its findings in July, as Nature reported then:

    The report by an international committee assembled by the University of Copenhagen concludes that there are significant indications that Milena Penkowa misrepresented both the number of animals used in experiments and data that measured the level of proteins in tissues. A leaked version of the same report was posted on a Danish news website in late July (see ‘Leaked report implicates Danish neuroscientist in misconduct case‘).

    The university has passed the report to the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD), a government office that investigates research misconduct and will officially rule on whether misconduct took place. The university’s academic council for the faculty of health sciences will also now consider the report; it has the authority to withdraw the PhD and medical sciences doctorate that Penkowa earned at Copenhagen if it concludes that she is guilty.

    The notice for the new retraction, which appeared in the October issue of Diabetes but was just indexed in Medline, is refreshingly detailed:

    Metallothionein-mediated antioxidant defense system and its response to exercise training are impaired in human type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 2005;54:3089–3094

    At the request of the authors, the above-mentioned article has been withdrawn from Diabetes. The letter below from Flemming Dela, MD, DMSci, and Celena Scheede-Bergdahl, BSc, MSc, PhD, explains the authors’ reasons for withdrawing the article:

    In November 2005, our group published the above-mentioned article. At the root of the paper was a series of immunohistochemical stains for metallothionein (MTI+II), which one of the co-authors, Milena Penkowa (former professor at the University of Copenhagen), had performed.

    Recently, the integrity of Milena Penkowa’s entire scientific work has been under investigation by an independent international panel set up by the University of Copenhagen. Their findings put into serious question the validity of Dr. Penkowa’s contribution to several papers, including this one. In order to support the efforts of the panel, we attempted to replicate Dr. Penkowa’s results presented in the article using other techniques (Western blots as opposed to the original immunohistochemical stains). A researcher outside of the original author group (Andreas Bergdahl, PhD, MSc, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada) kindly agreed to perform the protein analysis using a commercially available antibody, which would enable us to support the data obtained by Dr. Penkowa. However, we were not able to replicate the data presented in the article. The Western blot analysis revealed that there was an overall effect of diabetes on skeletal muscle metallothionein (MT) levels but that MT was higher in the diabetic subjects versus the control subjects. There was no effect of exercise. This is contrary to the data reported in the article.

    As there is serious question to the integrity of Dr. Penkowa’s contribution to this work and our inability to experimentally support the original findings, we, the authors, have requested that the article be withdrawn. We regret any inconvenience to the readers of Diabetes.

    The study has been cited 29 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge. It’s Penkowa’s third retraction so far.

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com...dy/#more-11437
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.

    Barbara

  7. #7
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    Default Neuroscientist Apologizes for Falsifying Data

    An apology? How about he repays the taxpayers who fund the NIH? I really don't think having to be supervised for 2 years is enough to compensate for what he did. It doesn't send a very strong message in my opinion.


    BioTechniques
    01/10/2013 Jesse Jenkins

    A neuroscientist has been found guilty of falsifying data in three NIH grant applications. So what does he have to say for himself?

    A former Gladstone Institute neuroscientist, who falsified data in three grant applications submitted to the National Institutes of Health, has made a formal apology for his actions after resigning last month.

    "I would like to express my sincere remorse and apologies to the community,” said Paul J. Muchowski, the former senior investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, which is affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). “I now fully realize that any shortcuts in drafting grant applications are wrong and not acceptable scientific procedure. I will never again commit such mistakes.”
    In three grants applications, Muchowski “falsely reported from research experiments when the results did not exist at the time the grant applications were submitted,” according to a report published in the Federal Register by the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on January 7, 2013.

    Muchowski has been a prominent figure in the field of Huntington’s disease research and is the author of several papers that have been cited over 100 times each, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge (1-3). Most recently, in a paper published in June 2011 in Cell, Muchowski and colleagues reported that the novel compound JM6 alleviates neurodegenerative symptoms in mouse models of Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease (4).

    “Importantly, my research findings were never called into question, and there will be no retractions based on these findings,” said Muchowski.

    The investigation began when a colleague of Muchowski brought forth concerns of the researcher’s misconduct, said Gladstone officials. To investigate these allegations, the institute formed an internal committee as well as a separate committee consisting of senior UCSF scientists. During the investigation, Muchowski admitted his misconduct and submitted his resignation at Gladstone Institutes in November 2012.

    “Both committees concluded that Dr. Muchowski’s falsification and fabrication of data in grant applications clearly departed from accepted practices in the research community and constituted scientific misconduct,” Jeanette Borzo, chief communications officer at Gladstone, said in a statement. “Gladstone’s president and trustees agreed with the committees’ conclusions.”

    Gladstone president R. Sanders Williams said, “We are saddened by this event, but heartened that our research culture encouraged a colleague of Dr. Muchowski to alert us to this matter. From that point, our established policies guided us through careful review to a resolution of this situation.”

    As a result of ORI’s findings, Muchowski has agreed to be supervised for the next two years on any federally funded research project with which he is involved. In addition, he will not participate in any advisory role to the Public Health Service.

    “I am utterly remorseful and penitent for my mistakes and wrongdoings,” said Muchowski. “I hope that I can continue to work and collaborate with others around the world, focusing on the future."

    Read the complete apology here...

    http://www.biotechniques.com/multime..._a_188741a.pdf

    References

    Muchowski, P. J., and J. L. Wacker. 2005. Modulation of neurodegeneration by molecular chaperones. Nature reviews. Neuroscience 6(1):11-22.
    Muchowski, P. J., G. Schaffar, A. Sittler, E. E. Wanker, M. K. Hayer-Hartl, and F. U. Hartl. 2000. Hsp70 and hsp40 chaperones can inhibit self-assembly of polyglutamine proteins into amyloid-like fibrils. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97(14):7841-7846.
    Willingham, S., T. F. F. Outeiro, M. J. DeVit, S. L. Lindquist, and P. J. Muchowski. 2003. Yeast genes that enhance the toxicity of a mutant huntingtin fragment or alpha-synuclein. Science (New York, N.Y.) 302(5651):1769-1772.
    Zwilling, D., S.-Y. Huang, K. V. Sathyasaikumar, F. M. Notarangelo, P. Guidetti, H.-Q. Wu, J. Lee, J. Truong, Y. Andrews-Zwilling, E. W. Hsieh, J. Y. Louie, T. Wu, K. Scearce-Levie, C. Patrick, A. Adame, F. Giorgini, S. Moussaoui, G. Laue, A. Rassoulpour, G. Flik, Y. Huang, J. M. Muchowski, E. Masliah, R. Schwarcz, and P. J. Muchowski. 2011. Kynurenine 3-Monooxygenase inhibition in blood ameliorates neurodegeneration. Cell 145(6):863-874.
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.

    Barbara

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