Emory cardiologists investigated for falsified data, prompting journal retractions

April 27, 2011

Atlanta, GA - An institutional investigation by officials at Emory University has led to the retraction of three papers involving researchers from the division of cardiology. As first reported by Retraction Watch, Emory officials concluded that the three papers, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB) and Circulation Research in 2004 and 2005, contain falsified data.

Dr Lian Zuo, a researcher in the division of cardiology, has admitted to officials that he fabricated data for the 2005 Circulation Research paper on caveolin-dependent receptor signaling in vascular smooth muscle. However, as Retraction Watch notes, Zuo admitted to fabricating 16 of 23 falsified panels, but as of now no other researcher has been implicated with the remaining seven data panels. The corresponding author on all three papers is Dr Masuko Ushio-Fukai, an assistant professor at the Emory University School of Medicine. The senior author on all three studies is Dr R Wayne Alexander, chair of the division of cardiology at Emory. Ushio-Fukai and Alexander have not been accused of falsifying data.

The Emory University investigation committee concluded that the two other papers, which also investigate caveolin-1 in redox signaling, contain "falsifications" and "image manipulation." In one ATVB article, the Emory Office of Research Compliance stated that the investigation committee "found it more likely than not" that Zuo was responsible for falsified panels, whereas in the second article the investigation committee "was unable to attribute responsibility for the image manipulation to any specific individual."

Kristin West, director of the research compliance unit at Emory University, told Retraction Watch that she could not discuss the investigation because "there are still some ongoing matters concerning some of the issues."

The retracted notices are here, here, and here.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: