Findings of Research Misconduct

Times two …

Notice is hereby given that ORI has taken final action in the following case:

Based on the reports of two investigations conducted by The Ohio State University and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Terry S. Elton, PhD, Professor, College of Pharmacy and Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by grants R01 HL048848, R01 HL084498, P01 HL70294, R21 HD058997, R01 AG021912, R01 AI39963, and R01 ES012241.

ORI found that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying and/or fabricating data that were included in 1 R21 HD058997-01, 1 R21 HD058997-01A1, 1 R21 HD058997-01A2, 1 RC1 HL100298-01, and in:

1. Kuhn, D.E., Nuovo, G.J., Terry, A.V. Jr., Martin, M.M., Malana, G.E., Sansom, SE., Pleister, A.P., Beck, W.D., Head, E., Feldman, D.S., & Elton, T.S. “Chromosome 21-derived microRNAs provide an etiological basis for aberrant protein expression in human Down syndrome brains.’ J Biol Chem 285(2):1529-43, 2010 Jan 8.

2. Kuhn, D.E., Nuovo, G.J., Martin, M.M., Malana, G.E., Pleister, A.P., Jiang, J., Schmittgen, T.D., Terry, A.V. Jr., Gardiner, K., Head, E., Feldman, D.S., & Elton, T.S. “Human chromosome 21-derived miRNAs are overexpressed in Down syndrome brains and hearts.’ Biochem Biophys Res Commun 370(3):473-7, 2008 Jun 6.

3. Martin, M.M., Buckenberger, J.A., Jiang, J., Malana, G.E., Knoell, D.L., Feldman, D.S., & Elton, T.S. ” TGFß1 stimulates human AT1 receptor expression in lung fibroblasts by cross talk between the Smad, p38 MAPK, JNK, and PI3K signaling pathways.’ Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol. 293(3):L790-9, 2007 Sept. (Retracted: Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol. 302(7):L719, 2012 Apr.)

4. Martin, M.M., Buckenberger, J.A., Jiang, J., Malana, G.E., Nuovo, G.J., Chotani, M., Feldman, D.S., Schmittgen, T.D., & Elton, T.S. “The human angiotensin II type 1 receptor +1166 A/C polymorphism attenuates microRNA-155 binding.’ J Biol Chem 282(33):24262-9, 2007, Aug 17.

5. Martin, M.M., Buckenberger, J.A., Knoell, D.L., Strauch, A.R., & Elton, T.S. “TGF-beta(1) regulation of human AT1 receptor mRNA splice variants harboring exon 2.’ Mol Cell Endocrinol 249(1-2):21-31, 2006 Apr 25.

6. Duffy, A.A., Martin, M.M., & Elton, T.S. “Transcriptional regulation of the AT1 receptor gene in immortalized human trophoblast cells.’ Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1680(3):158-70, 2004 Nov 5.

As a result of its investigation, OSU has recommended that all of the above publications be retracted.

Specifically, ORI found that the Respondent:

  • Falsified and/or fabricated Western blots in an NIH grant application in three submissions of the same grant application:
    • Figures 4, 7, 11C: 1 R21 HD058997-01
    • Figures 7B, 7E, 8B: 1 R21 HD058997-01A1
    • Figures 3C, 3F, 6C: 1 R21 HD058997-01A2 and false Western blots were also included in Figure 6 in grant application 1 RC1 HL100298-01.
  • Falsified and/or fabricated Western blots in eighteen (18) figures and in six (6) published papers. Specifically false and/or fabricated images were included in:
    • Figures 2C, 2D, 2F, 3C, 3E, 4G, 5C, 5F: J Biol Chem 285(2):1529-43, 2010 Jan 8
    • Figures 3B, 3C, 3F, 3H, 3I, 3J: Biochem Biophys Res Commun 370(3):473-7, 2008 Jun 6
    • Figures 2, 3, 4B, 5B, 6, 7B, 8A, 9B: Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol. 293(3):L790-9, 2007 Sept
    • Figure 6: J Biol Chem 282(33):24262-9, 2007 Aug 17
    • Figure 6: Mol Cell Endocrinol 249(1-2):21-31, 2006 Apr 25
    • Figures 5, 6B, 7B, 9B: Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1680(3):158-70, 2004 Nov 5.

Dr. Elton has entered into a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement and has voluntarily agreed:

(1) To exclude himself from any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility or involvement in nonprocurement programs of the United States Government referred to as “covered transactions’ pursuant to HHS’ Implementation (2 CFR part 376 et seq.) of OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government wide Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR part 180 (collectively the “Debarment Regulations’) for a period of 3 years, beginning on November 26, 2012;

(2) To exclude himself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant for a period of 3 years, beginning on November 26, 2012; and

(3) To request that the following publications be retracted:

  • J Biol Chem 285(2):1529-43, 2010 Jan 8
  • Biochem Biophys Res Commun 370(3):473-7, 2008 Jun 6
  • J Biol Chem 282(33):24262-9, 2007, Aug 17
  • Mol Cell Endocrinol 249(1-2):21-31, 2006 Apr 25
  • Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 1680(3):158-70, 2004 Nov 5

 

Notice is hereby given that ORI has taken final action in the following case:

Based on the report of an investigation conducted by the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Dr. Shuang-Qing Zhang, former Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by grant R01 GM069869.

ORI found that Respondent engaged in research misconduct by the falsification and fabrication of plagiarized data that were included in the publication: Zhang, S.Q. & Mehavr, R. “Determination of dextra-methylprednisolone conjugate with glycine linker in rat plasma and liver by high-performance liquid chromatography and its application in pharmacokinetics.’ Biomed. Chromatogr. 24(4):351-357, 2010.

Specifically, ORI found that the Respondent:

  • 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 [mu]g/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 [mu]g/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.

Dr. Zhang has entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement and has voluntarily agreed:

(1) To have his research supervised for a period of 3 years; Respondent voluntarily agrees that within 60 days of the effective date of the Agreement, any institution that submits an application for PHS support for a research project on which the Respondent’s participation is proposed or that uses the Respondent in any capacity on PHS supported research, or that submits a report of PHS-funded research in which the Respondent is involved, must concurrently submit a plan for supervision of the Respondent’s research to ORI for approval; Respondent agrees that he will not participate in any PHS-supported research after 60 days from the effective date of the Agreement until an appropriate supervision plan is submitted to ORI; the supervision plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of the Respondent’s research contribution; and

(2) To exclude himself voluntarily from serving in any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant for a period of 3 years, beginning on December 4, 2012.

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