Findings of Research Misconduct

Another dual billing …

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

Based on the admission of the Respondent, ORI found that Bryan William Doreian, PhD, former postdoctoral fellow, Department of Dermatology, Case Western Reserve University, engaged in research misconduct in research supported by T32 HL07887 and R01 NS052123.

ORI found that the Respondent engaged in research misconduct by falsifying data that were included in:

  • Doreian, B.W. “Molecular Regulation of the Exocytic Mode in Adrenal Chromaffin Cells.’ Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, August 2009
  • Doreian, B.W., Fulop, T.G., Meklemburg, R.L., Smith, C.B. “Cortical F-actin, the exocytic mode, and neuropeptide release in mouse chromaffin cells is regulated by myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate and myosin II.’ Mol Biol Cell. 20(13):3142-54, 2009 Jul
  • Doreian, B.W., Rosenjack, J., Galle, P.S., Hansen, M.B., Cathcart, M.K., Silverstein, R.L., McCormick, T.S., Cooper, K.D., Lu, K.Q. “Hyper-inflammation and tissue destruction mediated by PPAR-γ activation of macrophages in IL-6 deficiency.’ Manuscript prepared for submission to Nature Medicine

ORI finds that Respondent falsified numerical values in the Mol Biol Cell paper, the submitted Nature Medicine manuscript, and the Dissertation by altering the number of samples or the experimental results to improve the statistical results. Specifically, ORI finds that Respondent:

1. Falsified the quantification of immunofluorescence for the ratio of phosphorylated to unphosphorylated MARCKS protein in response to different stimuli in Figure 2 of the Mol Biol Cell paper and in Figure 12 of the Dissertation by falsifying the sample number as n=15.

2. Falsified the quantification of immunofluorescence for filamentous actin in response to different stimuli in Figure 3 of the Mol Biol Cell paper and in Figure 13 of the Dissertation by falsifying the sample number as n=15.

3. Falsified the quantification for the effect of blebbistatin on catecholamine release as determined by patch clamp analysis in Figure 22 of the Dissertation by stating that 14 cells had been assayed when only 8 cells had been assayed.

4. Falsified the Pearson’s cross-correlation analysis in Figure 7 of the Mol Biol Cell paper and in Figure 25 of the Dissertation, used to calculate the degree of spatial correlation between pan-chromogranin A/B (CgA/B) and the endosomal membrane, by stating that 20 or more cells had been tested for each condition when only 9-18 cells had been tested for each condition.

5. Falsified RT-PCR values for iNOS and TNF-alpha expression recorded on spreadsheets and presented in Figures 5e and 5f of the Nature Medicine manuscript showing the effect of hyper-inflammatory macrophage generation on tissue destruction, by falsifying the numeric values to fit the hypothesis of the manuscript.

6. Falsified ELISA graphs for the concentration of TNF-α in the aAB IL-6 mice and their controls in Figure 6j of the Nature Medicine manuscript showing the effect of rosiglitazone treatment in the mice, by multiplying the experimental values by 100 to match the magnitude of the values presented in Figures 21, 6h, and 6i of the Nature Medicine manuscript.

7. Falsified the RT-PCR results presented in the Nature Medicine manuscript for quantification of iNOS and TNF-α RNA expression by claiming that the results represent the mean of three identical experiments when the three experiments were normalized differently to yield the desired result. Specifically, false results were presented for peritoneal macrophages treated in vivo with rosiglitazone and/or inhibitors of PPARγ signaling Figures 1g, 1h, and 1i, and for iNOS RNA expresssion in IL6-/- macrophages treated in vitro with either SOCS3 antisense oligonucleotides in Figure 2g or the STAT3 decoy in Figure 2j.

Dr. Doreian has entered into a Voluntary Settlement Agreement and has voluntarily agreed for a period of 3 years, beginning on January 15, 2013:

(1) To have his research supervised; Respondent agreed that prior to the submission of an application for U.S. PHS support for a research project on which his participation is proposed and prior to his participation in any capacity on PHS-supported research, Respondent shall ensure that a plan for supervision of his duties is submitted to ORI for approval; the supervision plan must be designed to ensure the scientific integrity of his research contribution; he agreed that he shall not participate in any PHS-supported research until such a supervision plan is submitted to and approved by ORI; Respondent agreed to maintain responsibility for compliance with the agreed upon supervision plan;

(2) That any institution employing him shall submit, in conjunction with each application for PHS funds, or report, manuscript, or abstract involving PHS-supported research in which Respondent is involved, a certification to ORI that the data provided by Respondent are based on actual experiments or are otherwise legitimately derived and that the data, procedures, and methodology are accurately reported in the application, report, manuscript, or abstract;

(3) 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; and

(4) To request that the following paper be retracted: Mol Biol Cell. 20(13):3142-54, 2009 Jul.

 

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

Based on the report of an investigation conducted by the University of Wisconsin and additional analysis conducted by ORI in its oversight review, ORI found that Rao M. Adibhatla, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, engaged in research misconduct by falsifying results in two publications supported by R01 NS042008 and in 3 unfunded applications that Dr. Adibhatla submitted to NINDS as R01 NS042008-05, -05A1, and -05A2. The questioned papers are:

1. Adibhatla, R.M., Hatcher, J.F., Larsen E.C. et al. “CDP-choline Significantly Restores Phoshatidylcholine Levels by Differentially Affecting Phospholipase A2 and CTP:Phosphocholine Cytidylyltransferase after Stroke.’ J. Biol. Chem. 281:6718-6725, 2006, as the sPLA2-IIA, CCTα, and PLD2 data in Figures 1B, 2A, and 3A, respectively

2. Adibhatla, R.M., & Hatcher, J.F. “Secretory phospholipase A2 IIA is Up-regulated by TNF-α and IL-1α/β after Transient Focal Cerebral Ischemia in Rat.’ Brain Research 1134:199-205, 2007, as the sPLA2-IIA data in Figures 2A and 2C.

ORI found that Respondent committed research misconduct by falsifying Western blot images as well as quantitative and statistical data obtained from purported scans of the films. The research studied the effect of cerebral ischemia on phospholipid homeostasis in an experimental animal model (SHR rat) of stroke during the course of reperfusion of the ischemic cortex. The falsified Western blot images and derivative quantitative data describe changes in levels of sPLA2-IIAA, CCTα, and of PLD2 during reperfusion in the ischemic cortex.

Specifically, the Respondent:

  • Falsified the Western blot data demonstrating sPLA2 expression in a time course after ischemia in Figure 1B of the JBC paper and Figure 2A and 2C of the Brain Research paper by rearranging the bands such that the labels do not accurately portray what is in the lanes. He perpetuated the falsification by presenting the quantification of the single falsified Western blot in a bar graph as the average of 5 replicate Western blots. The result in the paper cannot be substantiated by the actual experiments.
  • Falsified the Western blot data demonstrating CCTα expression in a time course assay after ischemia in Figure 2A of the JBC paper by rearranging the bands such that the labels do not accurately portray what is in the lanes. He perpetuated the falsification by presenting the quantification of the single falsified Western blot in a bar graph as the average of 4 replicate Western blots and the 6-hour time point was further falsified to make the results look better. The result in the paper cannot be substantiated by the actual experiments.
  • Falsified the quantification of a Western blot demonstrating PLD2 expression in a time course after ischemia in Figure 3A of the JBC paper by claiming a bar graph quantifying a single Western blot is the average of 4 Western blots.
  • Submitted the same falsified Western blot images and bar graph data in 3 unfunded grant applications: NS042008-05, NS042008-05A1, and NS042008-05A2. Specifically:
    • the falsified sPLA2-IIA data were submitted as Figures 3, 8, and 12 in the respective NS042008-05, -05A1, and -05A2 applications
    • the falsified CCTα data appeared as Figures 10, 15, and 16 in the respective -05, -05A1, and -05A2 applications
    • the falsified PLD2 bar graph data and associated statistical claims appeared as Figures 8 and 13 in the -05 and -05A1 applications respectively.

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

(1) To exclude himself voluntarily for a period of 2 years from the effective date of the Agreement 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 pursuant to HHS’ Implementation (2 CFR part 376 et seq.) of OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension, 2 CFR Part 180;

(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 18, 2012; and

(3) To request retraction of the following papers:

  • J. Biol. Chem. 281:6718-6725, 2006
  • Brain Research 1134:199-205, 2007

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