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Eric Lam: shady research at Imperial to cure breast cancer

Eric Lam is yet another of the many "Curing Cancer with Photoshop" researchers which PubPeer is full of. This professor of molecular Oncology at Imperial College in London is responsible for several papers with duplicated gel bands, but does it matter? He has 250 more.

Another instalment from the series “Curing Cancer with Photoshop“. This time, the hero is Eric Lam, breast cancer researcher and professor of molecular Oncology at Imperial College in London. Lam’s lab consists by his own count of “12-18 researchers”, Imperial had to stress that it “is made up from 15 females”. However, a number of problematic papers from Lam lab have male first authors.

This cancer fighting hub at Imperial is funded by British national funders Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Major research focus is on the Forkhead Box proteins, in particular FOXM1, a transcription factor implicated in cancer development. A pedestrian approach many cancer researchers take, where similar-looking papers on slightly varying topics of the same gene are produced, none of them too unorthodox or earth-shattering to attract scrutiny as to how those results came to be. Lam’s science is not controversial for that, and with 250 papers it is the combined quantity and mediocrity which let his research stand unquestioned.  Yet if one does look closely, as the data integrity sleuth Clare Francis did and posted it on PubPeer, one finds duplicated western blot bands and irregularly spliced gels. Maybe it is a novel molecular pathway of FOX proteins, to be harnessed for a cancer cure?

What this article shows, is actually nothing scandalous. It is simply the boring banality of bad science in cancer research which PubPeer is full of. Lam is just one of many successful academic oncologists who knows what is needed to successfully publish papers in respectable society journals.  

We can start with an early work from Lam lab, where Sunters et al J Biol Chem 2003 proved that FOXO3a and FOXO1a proteins are involved in apoptosis of cancer cells treated with a chemotherapeutic agent. Not really a surprising result, under the circumstances, but it still needed some tweaking. In a certain cancer cell line, this paclitaxel treatment had a bizarre effect of duplicating, or even triplicating gel bands inside the loading control. Apparently, an extracellular Photoshop-defence mechanism against undesired results gets activated, which then provides FOXO3a and FOXO1a phosphorylation in a tubulin-western blot band-dependent matter. Amazing science at the forefront of war on cancer at Imperial.

The Fernandez De Mattos et al, Mol Cancer Ther, 2008 paper from the Lam lab is also an interesting example in this regard. Who would have expected that the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin will not only reduce the phosphorylation of FOXO3a protein, but also lead to a duplication of a p-FOXO3a gel band? Serendipitous discoveries like this is what drives cancer research!

Or this paper Francis et al, Int J Oncology, 2009, where Lam found out the key role of FOXM1 in breast cancer. The effect is that universal, that cancer cell lines produce identical western blots even when treated with utterly different pharmacological inhibitors, and in different publications. This is why two western blot panels from that paper are found in Mc Govern et al, Mol Cancer Ther, 2009, another Lam paper published by American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

The effect spreads even further inside the McGovern et al 2009 paper. 4 loading controls were re-used, but not the fifth one because it apparently already was delegated to moonlight in the parallel Francis et al 2009 paper.

The following Lam study gives insights into his mentorship practice. Jimmy Kwok did his PhD udner Lam and is now head of London oncology division with the private healthcare provider HCA Healthcare UK. He is also a registered Ashtanga yoga instructor and helps cancer patients by selling them his books on yoga. There is lots for Kwok to mediate on himself though, for example on his paper  Kwok et al Mol Cancer Research 2010 and his PhD thesis from same year.

Can yoga explain that western blot bands showing the expression of an oncogene look identical between control and chemotherapeutic agent-treated cells? Especially that these gels bands were squeezed vertically to look smaller when the therapy began?

The exactly same figure, with same duplication, is present in Kwok’s PhD thesis, supervised by Lam. The thesis also has other issues, like those amazing reproducible flow cytometry plots, despite different time points:

file

This was what Lam published together with another Imperial colleague, Simon Wagner (who is now with University of Leicester). The paper Batlle et al Mol Immunology 2009, published with Elsevier, proves that in the end, anything goes and nothing matters. Nobody cares, or looks, or actually peer reviews. Some brightness touch-up suffices to make results from different experiments interchangeable inside the same figure. Leukaemia solved, the easy Imperial way.

Other concerns in Lam’s papers are hidden irregular gel splicing, mismatching loading controls, which both make western blot results rather unreliable, or occasional duplications like in Barnouin et al J Biol Chem 2002.

The bigger problem is that in cancer research, all these issues in Lam’s papers are nothing special. None of them. Those problematic western blots Lam published are boringly common. Just in UK, there are many other cases of photoshopped cancer research discussed on PubPeer, my site alone documents ICR London, Cardiff University , or even another lab at Imperial. Even more, Lam’s own superior Iain McNeish, Head of Division of Cancer of Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial published something rather inappropriate in his own youth, also at Imperial, in McNeish et al, Cancer Gene Ther, 2001. This is just one example of duplicated gel bands in that paper of his, more is on PubPeer.

Even more can be found on PubPeer in the works in of McNeish et al 2001 last author, Nick Lemoine, formerly professor of molecular pathology at Imperial and now Chair of the Bart’s Cancer Institute in London. That was also mostly posted by pseudonymous sleuth Clare Francis, who also informed the universities involved. Not that anyone cares, just like with ICR, also on Bart’s case it will the institute director investigating himself.  Lemoine is also Chair of trustees at MRC, in case anyone is concerned about MRC’s attitude to research integrity, they can complain to Professor Lemoine.

It is basically a culture of mutual back-scratching and one hand washes the other in cancer research. Lam might be not the biggest shark in the pond, but one quickly sees that those above him and at the helm of British cancer research are, let’s put it this way, conflicted themselves. Yet this kind of bad science quickly leads to clinical trials, with millions of pounds, dollars or euros wasted, where thousands of cancer patients are given false hope and subjected to potentially dangerous therapies based on a flimsy, unreliable or plain fake lab data. Those same people unable to present a convincing western blot without the help of Photoshop, keep asking the public to donate to cancer research.

Maybe this is why there is so little progress relative to the enormous financial effort worldwide. What if the really radical approach to war on cancer would be not throwing good money after bad in Moonshot programmes, not inventing new crazy theories of cancer, not stripping patients of basic protection so new methods can be quickly tested on them on a hunch, but introducing some basic research integrity for a change? It would cost very little, in fact it would liberate enormous sums which more honest scientists could use for better science.

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According to Prof Lam, the above western blot band duplications were done “for the women suffering for breast cancer”. Image: @ImperialCR_UK, on Twitter.

Update 25.11.2018. Same day and just a couple of hours after this article appeared, Lam’s Head of Department Iain McNeish went to PubPeer to share the results of an investigation on his own problematic paper with Nick Lemoine, in this comment. In brief, the gel band duplications were confirmed and original data was not available. This was exactly the reason why Imperial and Bart’s Cancer Institute decided not to retract or even to correct the paper. And anyway, some of the duplicated bands were, as McNeish said, “only control lanes”. McNeish announced to be now in charge of monitoring and punishing exactly same transgressions as his own paper shows.

In Britain, goats are appointed gardeners, by other goats.

Quote by McNeish:

“None of these issues in my opinion change the conclusions made in the papers. I see no merit in retracting these important publications or publishing an erratum at this late stage, although agree that there have been errors made in producing the figures.

It should also be noted that the original data was no longer available for review. […] The investigation stated that the conclusions made from the published studies were valid and important, even accounting for these reporting errors.

I recommend that measures are put in place to avoid such issues surrounding research data quality and reporting in future. […]

As first author, I accept the findings of this investigation. The Division of Cancer at Imperial College has now established a data integrity committee that will investigates suspected data irregularities and also to review the current practices relating to research data storage and reporting.”


 

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60 comments on “Eric Lam: shady research at Imperial to cure breast cancer

  1. I keep insisting that should be compulsory publishing the original data and that funding agencies should not be happy to invest in any research proposal unless they have solid evidence regarding raw data.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “This was what Lam published together with another Imperial colleague, Simon Wagner (who is now with University of Leicester).”

    Simon Wagner has a retraction with the best of them

    http://www.jbc.org/content/287/22/18308
    J Biol Chem. 2012 May 25;287(22):18308-17. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.346270. Epub 2012 Apr 9.
    POZ-, AT-hook-, and Zinc Finger-containing Protein (PATZ) Interacts with Human Oncogene B Cell Lymphoma 6 (BCL6) and Is Required for Its Negative Autoregulation*
    Raffaela Pero‡, Dario Palmieri‡,§, Tiziana Angrisano‡, Teresa Valentino‡, Antonella Federico‡, Renato Franco¶, Francesca Lembo‖, Andres J. Klein-Szanto**, Luigi Del Vecchio‡‡,§§, Donatella Montanaro§§, Simona Keller‡,§§, Claudio Arra¶, Vasiliki Papadopoulou¶¶, Simon D. Wagner¶¶, Carlo M. Croce§, Alfredo Fusco‡, Lorenzo Chiariotti‡,‖1 and Monica Fedele‡2
    – Author Affiliations

    From the ‡Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare and the Istituto di Endocrinologia ed Oncologia Sperimentale, Università di Napoli “Federico II” and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), 80131 Naples, Italy,
    the §Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210,
    the ¶Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Fondazione Pascale, 80131 Naples, Italy,
    the ‖Dipartimento di Chimica Farmaceutica e Tossicologica, Università di Napoli “Federico II”, 80131 Naples, Italy,
    the **Department of Pathology, Fox-Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111,
    the ‡‡Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università di Napoli “Federico II”, 80131 Naples, Italy,
    the §§CEINGE, Biotecnologie Avanzate, 80145 Naples, Italy, and
    the ¶¶Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom.

    2017 retraction.
    http://www.jbc.org/content/292/13/5609.long

    This article has been withdrawn by the authors. Figs. 2D and 6E did not accurately represent experimental conditions. Additionally, the journal raised concerns with regards to Fig. 1C. The authors were not able to provide the original data for this figure. The authors state that these inaccuracies in figure representation did not affect any of the scientific conclusions of the paper.

    Like

  3. “Lam’s lab consists by his own count of “12-18 researchers”, Imperial had to stress that it “is made up from 15 females”. However, a number of problematic papers from Lam lab have male first authors.”

    One way to look at it is that Imperial is proud of the high proportion of women employed.

    Although men do get breast cancer (about 0.7% of new cases each year in the U.K.), and there are worthy campaigns to increase the awareness of breast cancer amongst men,
    https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/stages-types-grades/types/male-breast-cancer
    the vast majority of cases of breast cancer are in women. A more cynical way of looking at it is “look like you donors”.
    Eric Lam is a man, but most of the other people in the lab are women. Apologies for “binary”, but that is how the data are collected and published.

    Like

  4. Has the Imperial College in London been informed? Will they start an investigation?

    Maybe they should take a more critical look at the published litterature from their research groups,
    especially those that have an unlikely good publication record, like e.g. Dr Lam.

    Like

  5. “Even more, Lam’s own superior Iain McNeish, Head of Division of Cancer of Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial published something rather inappropriate in his own youth, also at Imperial, in McNeish et al, Cancer Gene Ther, 2001.”

    Too old to correct, or retract. How convenient!

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/E76D4CD96F41333C88C84A8EFBC57C#5
    Scroll up to see the images.

    Cancer Gene Ther. 2001 Apr;8(4):308-19.
    Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir-induced cell death is enhanced by co-expression of caspase-3 in ovarian carcinoma cells.
    McNeish IA1, Tenev T, Bell S, Marani M, Vassaux G, Lemoine N.
    Author information
    1
    ICRF Molecular Oncology Unit, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.

    Like

  6. “The Division of Cancer at Imperial College has now established a data integrity committee that will investigates suspected data irregularities and also to review the current practices relating to research data storage and reporting.”

    That means there wasn’t one until now.

    Like

    • Expect now a comment by Eric Lam on PubPeer telling everyone “What McNeish said!”

      Like

    • November 25, 2018
      “The Division of Cancer at Imperial College has now established a data integrity committee that will investigates suspected data irregularities and also to review the current practices relating to research data storage and reporting.”

      Surely the 2016 retraction of a 2015 Science paper, and the 2015 retraction of a 2002 J Biol Chem paper should have prompted Imperial College in establishing a data integrity committee? It is the same Imperial College. Does Imperial College have to wait for Pubpeer comments to lead to retractions?

      https://retractionwatch.com/2016/12/15/high-profile-science-paper-retracted-misconduct/

      Science. 2015 May 29;348(6238):995-1001. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa7516. Epub 2015 Apr 16.

      T cell metabolism. The protein LEM promotes CD8⁺ T cell immunity through effects on mitochondrial respiration.
      Okoye I1, Wang L1, Pallmer K2, Richter K2, Ichimura T3, Haas R4, Crouse J2, Choi O1, Heathcote D1, Lovo E1, Mauro C4, Abdi R3, Oxenius A2, Rutschmann S1, Ashton-Rickardt PG5.
      Author information
      1
      Section of Immunobiology, Division of Inflammation and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK.
      2
      Institute of Microbiology, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich (ETHZ), Vladimir-Prelog-Weg 1-5/10, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland.
      3
      Transplantation Research Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 221 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
      4
      William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK.
      5
      Section of Immunobiology, Division of Inflammation and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK. Transplantation Research Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 221 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

      See: https://pubpeer.com/publications/B74CF2D21C4A180A5685A30DC06D29

      2016 retraction notice.
      http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6318/1385.1
      An investigation by Imperial College into the Science Research Article “The protein LEM promotes CD8+ T cell immunity through effects on mitochondrial respiration” (1), which was the subject of an Editorial Expression of Concern in December 2015 (2), has now concluded that duplications and use of incorrect Western blots occurred during the preparation of several figures in the paper. The investigation also found that examples of the original Western blots and accompanying experimental details had been lost. The investigation found that the problematic figures had been prepared solely by corresponding author Ashton-Rickardt and he accepted full responsibility for them. In agreement with the recommendation of the investigation, Science is therefore retracting the Research Article.

      https://retractionwatch.com/2015/06/30/jbc-cancer-paper-felled-by-duplication-is-one-authors-second-retraction-this-month/

      J Biol Chem. 2002 Apr 5;277(14):12040-6. Epub 2002 Jan 28.
      Fibroblast growth factor-2 induces translational regulation of Bcl-XL and Bcl-2 via a MEK-dependent pathway: correlation with resistance to etoposide-induced apoptosis.
      Pardo OE1, Arcaro A, Salerno G, Raguz S, Downward J, Seckl MJ.
      Author information
      1
      Cancer Research United Kingdom Lung Cancer Biology Group and the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Campus of Imperial College, Ducane Road, London W12 0NN, United Kingdom.

      See: https://pubpeer.com/publications/A1705738746C3214F7BD831BFD46AA

      2015 retraction notice.
      http://www.jbc.org/content/290/25/15390
      This article has been withdrawn by the authors.

      Like

  7. http://www.jbc.org/content/283/24/16545.long
    June 13, 2008 The Journal of Biological Chemistry 283, 16545-16553.
    FoxM1c Counteracts Oxidative Stress-induced Senescence and Stimulates Bmi-1 Expression
    Samuel K. M. Li‡, David K. Smith‡, Wai Ying Leung‡, Alice M. S. Cheung‡, Eric W. F. Lam§, Goberdhan P. Dimri¶ and Kwok-Ming Yao‡,1
    – Author Affiliations
    ‡Department of Biochemistry, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, ¶Department of Medicine, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60201, and §Cancer Research-United Kingdom Laboratories, Department of Oncology, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London W12 ONN, United Kingdom

    How to explain the same FoxM1 panel for line A and line B cells?
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/2760A07B9A020CF8D7E62D06302EAC

    Figures 1 and 4A.

    Like

  8. Oncogene. 2012 Apr 5;31(14):1845-58. doi: 10.1038/onc.2011.368. Epub 2011 Aug 22.
    1 comment on PubPeer (by: Xanthoparmelia Perfissa)

    FOXO3a represses VEGF expression through FOXM1-dependent and -independent mechanisms in breast cancer.
    Karadedou CT1, Gomes AR, Chen J, Petkovic M, Ho KK, Zwolinska AK, Feltes A, Wong SY, Chan KY, Cheung YN, Tsang JW, Brosens JJ, Khoo US, Lam EW.
    Author information
    1
    Department of Surgery and Cancer, Cancer Research-UK Labs, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, UK.

    How to explain the FGF duplication for Total SKBR-3 cells and Nuclear MDA -MB-231 cells?

    Figure 2A.

    Like

  9. Oncogene never retracts anything, like many other journals.

    Indexing in PubMed/Medline should be much stricter, so that journals like Oncogene that doesn’t care about publishing manipulated and falsified results,
    would be forced to change practice. Journals indexed in PubMed should need a quality certificate. E.g. if they don’t retract papers containing falsified data they are out.
    That would be a game changer!

    Please don’t say that we already have this with DOAJ and COPE. They are not doing anything!

    We should start a campain for stricter indexing and put pressure on the National Library of Medicine to change their policy.

    The scholarly record has turned into a giant landfil which now confuses more than to help researchers and we urgently need changes.

    Like

  10. https://www.natureindex.com/news-blog/from-punish-to-empower-a-blame-free-approach-to-research-misconduct

    “duties of care are the need to remove incentives from the academic reward system that lead to perverse behaviours,
    such as gaming citations, and the promotion of an open research climate in which scientists can discuss their dilemmas without fear of reprisal.”

    This is all very well in a mature social democracy, such as the Netherlands, but what about in other countries,
    or in insitutions which push many publications and raising of much money?

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/imperial-college-professor-stefan-grimm-was-given-grant-income-target/2017369.article

    Like

  11. Cell Death Dis. 2013 Jan 17;4:e458. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2012.197.
    Epigenetic status of argininosuccinate synthetase and argininosuccinate lyase modulates autophagy and cell death in glioblastoma.
    Syed N1, Langer J, Janczar K, Singh P, Lo Nigro C, Lattanzio L, Coley HM, Hatzimichael E, Bomalaski J, Szlosarek P, Awad M, O’Neil K, Roncaroli F, Crook T.
    Author information
    John Fulcher Neuro-oncology Laboratory, Division of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/F2A2C8BA651F56AA851FD6981285B5#5

    Figures 3b and 4a.

    Like

  12. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Feb;24(3):1341-50.
    ASPP1 and ASPP2: common activators of p53 family members.
    Bergamaschi D1, Samuels Y, Jin B, Duraisingham S, Crook T, Lu X.
    Author information
    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Imperial College School of Medicine, St. Mary’s Campus, London W2 1PG, United Kingdom.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/46CD919799986C18D15745C778C13C

    Figure 5B.

    Figure 4B.

    Like

  13. Oncogene. 2005 May 26;24(23):3836-41.
    Mdm2 and mdmX prevent ASPP1 and ASPP2 from stimulating p53 without targeting p53 for degradation.
    Bergamaschi D1, Samuels Y, Zhong S, Lu X.
    Author information
    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University College London, 91 Riding House Street, London W1W 7BS, UK.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/728B8537D6CEB22560D9345F3F3D1E

    Figure 3a. https://pubpeer.com/publications/728B8537D6CEB22560D9345F3F3D1E#1

    Figure 4a. https://pubpeer.com/publications/728B8537D6CEB22560D9345F3F3D1E#2

    Like

  14. Cancer Cell. 2013 May 13;23(5):618-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2013.03.013. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

    Restoring p53 function in human melanoma cells by inhibiting MDM2 and cyclin B1/CDK1-phosphorylated nuclear iASPP.
    Lu M1, Breyssens H, Salter V, Zhong S, Hu Y, Baer C, Ratnayaka I, Sullivan A, Brown NR, Endicott J, Knapp S, Kessler BM, Middleton MR, Siebold C, Jones EY, Sviderskaya EV, Cebon J, John T, Caballero OL, Goding CR, Lu X.
    Author information
    1
    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7DQ, UK.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/7405B9B25BA9D4C140E294D40564CB

    Figure 4G.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/7405B9B25BA9D4C140E294D40564CB#2

    2016 correction. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1535610816304548?via%3Dihub

    Like

  15. https://aasldpubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/hep.23247
    Hepatology. 2010 Jan;51(1):142-53. doi: 10.1002/hep.23247.
    HEPATOBILIARY MALIGNANCIESEpigenetic Silence of Ankyrin-Repeat–Containing,SH3-Domain–Containing, and Proline-Rich-Region–Containing Protein 1 (ASPP1) andASPP2GenesPromotes Tumor Growth in Hepatitis B Virus–PositiveHepatocellular CarcinomaJian Zhao,1,2* Guobin Wu,1,3* Fangfang Bu,1* Bin Lu,1Anmin Liang,3Lei Cao,1Xin Tong,1Xin Lu,4Mengchao Wu,1, Yajun Guo, 1,2.

    From the1International Joint Cancer Institute & Eastern Hospital of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China;2School ofPharmacy and Antibody Engineering Center of Ministry of Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Key Laboratory for Cell Engineering and Antibody,Shanghai, China;3Guangxi Cancer Hospital, Guangxi Medical University, Guangxi, China;4Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Oxford, NuffieldDepartment of Clinical Medicine, Oxford, UK.

    Figure 2B. https://pubpeer.com/publications/15684F0976E47E5849F99FB6D73751

    Like

  16. http://www.pnas.org/content/110/18/7300.long

    Role of p63 and the Notch pathway in cochlea development and sensorineural deafness
    Alessandro Terrinoni, Valeria Serra, Ernesto Bruno, Andreas Strasser, Elizabeth Valente, Elsa R. Flores, Hans van Bokhoven, Xin Lu, Richard A. Knight, and Gerry Melino
    PNAS April 30, 2013 110 (18) 7300-7305; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1214498110

    Alessandro Terrinonia,1,2, Valeria Serraa,1, Ernesto Brunob, Andreas Strasserc,d, Elizabeth Valentec,d, Elsa R. Florese, Hans van Bokhovenf, Xin Lug, Richard A. Knighth, and Gerry Melinoa,h,2
    aBiochemistry Laboratory Istituto Dermopatico Dell’Immacolata, c/o Department of Experimental Medicine and Surgery, University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” 00133 Rome, Italy;
    bDepartment of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine, University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” 00133 Rome, Italy;
    cThe Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia;
    dDepartment of Medical Biology, Melbourne University, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia;
    eDivision of Basic Science Research, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030;
    fDepartment of Human Genetics, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands;
    gNuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7DQ, United Kingdom; and
    hToxicology Unit, Medical Research Council, Leicester University, Leicester LE1 9HN, United Kingdom

    2014 correction. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/7/2854

    The authors note that “Thanks to an alert reader, we noticed that in Fig. 3D, the control ChIP for MDM2 erroneously duplicated a p53-RE-III panel from an earlier paper (1). We thank the reader for bringing this issue to our attention, and we deeply apologize to the scientific community for the error.”

    Edited by Michael Karin, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA, and approved March 20, 2013 (received for review August 22, 2012)
    What a laugh!

    http://karinlab-et-al.blogspot.com/

    Career curing cancer in Photoshop.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/26BF1A9A41412947E05D956E91F161
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/549ECA180E3177C27CEF1A5B29186B
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/81F3F8F7D7120ECF9F1E0FA04FAA23
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/70B63BF42E7304DA3CF2B81A9ACBA0
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/523C86C5C95A03FF074A8552CF0E36
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/FD3AFFEAB6D94617D47CFD55F6BB4F
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/6080332E1B311B04928169937773A9
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/B7ED183D6E80956F2E248A9F2CD528
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/AB948DBD49E09CA26BFDD7728BBB7F
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/046E7EE340C2AD319E4AC503644EAE
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/55DDF4F2C8499614CEC4C173AF52AC
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/B53108EC99342EE4236E920A0F5C21
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/4966AA09CF15E616FF386E8643BE34
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/FB953FB41E9A5ABBF3846D854FA9E6
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/AC408EB7ED3DCDABD44E48C4A9F927
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/82B3067EE040DFC32E5CFE6AACBF09#1
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/7C721B099C6B697C1039A600DB0C8F#2
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/8367D973BAD32E76A4A3BDB279D605
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/E81BA1277C7ABB9085D5E69FA2B387
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/B84403FC977C7BED90DEDD4EDB7866
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/45E7A2B5E030C2A52B18350F71DE1B
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/363559ACFDAB5BD8D9B5F12F5FA56B
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/B04503D899CBC6F80D572778219D24
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/2B4152647555B8993C4CE2AF43A27E
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/5A21EB030AF1E9E2DE19EF61DD40EA
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/0AE89F0F0589B43720CE0177C13817
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/3C5582DEEA291115A6ABE9B3A5E870

    Like

  17. Cancer Res. 2004 Jul 15;64(14):4749-54.
    Ser392 phosphorylation regulates the oncogenic function of mutant p53.
    Yap DB1, Hsieh JK, Zhong S, Heath V, Gusterson B, Crook T, Lu X.
    Author information
    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, St. Mary’s Branch, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, United Kingdom.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/60A9BF6FC939AC0153A1F423133658

    Figures 4D and 5A.

    Like

  18. Nat Genet. 2003 Feb;33(2):162-7. Epub 2003 Jan 13.
    iASPP oncoprotein is a key inhibitor of p53 conserved from worm to human.
    Bergamaschi D1, Samuels Y, O’Neil NJ, Trigiante G, Crook T, Hsieh JK, O’Connor DJ, Zhong S, Campargue I, Tomlinson ML, Kuwabara PE, Lu X.
    Author information
    1
    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Imperial College School of Medicine, St. Mary’s Campus, Norfolk Place, London, W2 1PG, UK.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/06080F7D25D1A1B598F4DE8DEF5238

    Figure 1c.

    Like

  19. Nat Genet. 2006 Oct;38(10):1133-41. Epub 2006 Sep 10.
    iASPP preferentially binds p53 proline-rich region and modulates apoptotic function of codon 72-polymorphic p53.
    Bergamaschi D1, Samuels Y, Sullivan A, Zvelebil M, Breyssens H, Bisso A, Del Sal G, Syed N, Smith P, Gasco M, Crook T, Lu X.
    Author information
    1
    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University College London, 91 Riding House Street, London W1W 7BS, UK.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/858FBC108F303612266C62378E71C5

    Figure 3b.

    Figure 6b.

    Figure 6c.

    Figure 4b.

    Like

  20. Haematologica. 2010 Jul;95(7):1081-9. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2009.017178 . Epub 2010 Feb 23.
    Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells non-selectively protect chronic myeloid leukemia cells from imatinib-induced apoptosis via the CXCR4/CXCL12 axis.
    Vianello F1, Villanova F, Tisato V, Lymperi S, Ho KK, Gomes AR, Marin D, Bonnet D, Apperley J, Lam EW, Dazzi F.
    Author information
    Department of Haematology, Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College, London, UK.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/1C9909DECCAD35F5EFBD2AFFC591CC

    Figure 2A.

    Like

  21. UCL academic

    In the case of Eric Lam, I think you are being unfair to Imperial. They clearly have a very robust scientific fraud investigation procedure in place:
    https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/research-and-innovation/research-office/public/Annual-Research-Misconduct-Report-for-2015-16.pdf
    They just need to apply it to Prof Lam.

    Like

  22. J Biol Chem. 2004 Mar 26;279(13):12005-8. Epub 2004 Jan 23.
    AMP-activated protein kinase plays a role in the control of food intake.
    Andersson U1, Filipsson K, Abbott CR, Woods A, Smith K, Bloom SR, Carling D, Small CJ.
    Author information
    Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Cellular Stress Group and Endocrine Unit, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 ONN, United Kingdom.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/8BA1C69196DFB5BDCEFC747825712D

    Figure 2b.

    Figure 2d.

    Like

  23. Triplicated data figure 3-25, page 194, PhD Thesis Jimmy Kwok Imperial College, London 2010.

    Like

    • If you click on figure 3-25 above to enlarge you can see that the signal inside the yellow rectangles is not uniform, but does have features. A line slanting downwards towards the right in the upper part of the rectangles, and a distinct spot in the lower left of the rectangles.

      Like

  24. Figures 3-27 and 3-34, PhD Thesis Jimmy Kwok Imperial College, London 2010.

    Like

  25. Minor point: figures 3-14 and 3-15, PhD Thesis Jimmy Kwok Imperial College, London 2010, seem to contain the same information.

    Like

  26. Figure 3.1B, PhD Thesis Julie Millour, Imperial College London.

    Original document.

    https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/bitstream/10044/1/17849/1/Millour-J-2013-PhD-Thesis.pdf

    Like

  27. Figure 3.4, PhD Thesis H R Upekha Karunarathna, Imperial College, London 2017. PhD supervisor prof Eric Lam.

    More similar than you might expect.

    Original document.
    https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/handle/10044/1/52459

    Like

  28. Figure 5.2, PhD Thesis H R Upekha Karunarathna, Imperial College, London 2017.
    PhD supervisor prof Eric Lam.

    Like

  29. Oncogenesis. 2016 Aug 15;5(8):e252. doi: 10.1038/oncsis.2016.57.

    RNF168 cooperates with RNF8 to mediate FOXM1 ubiquitination and degradation in breast cancer epirubicin treatment.
    Kongsema M1, Zona S1, Karunarathna U1, Cabrera E2, Man EP3, Yao S1, Shibakawa A1, Khoo US3, Medema RH4, Freire R2, Lam EW1.
    Author information
    1
    Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, London, UK.
    2
    Unidad de Investigación, Hospital Universitario de Canarias, Instituto de Tecnologías Biomédicas, Ofra s/n, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.
    3
    Department of Pathology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.
    4
    Division of Cell Biology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/014298C0DE64E2E639219AFBAA7B86

    Figure 1.

    Like

  30. Cancer Discov. 2012 Feb;2(2):156-71. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-11-0256.
    The OPCML tumor suppressor functions as a cell surface repressor-adaptor, negatively regulating receptor tyrosine kinases in epithelial ovarian cancer.
    McKie AB1, Vaughan S, Zanini E, Okon IS, Louis L, de Sousa C, Greene MI, Wang Q, Agarwal R, Shaposhnikov D, Wong JL, Gungor H, Janczar S, El-Bahrawy M, Lam EW, Chayen NE, Gabra H.
    Author information
    1
    Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre, Division of Cancer, Imperial College London Hammersmith Campus, London, United Kingdom.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/C9ED9AEDDD0FBBABF55B3C85D19003

    Like

  31. Putting it together.

    Several examples image manipulation in two PhD theses supervised by prof Eric W Lam:-
    1. PhD Thesis Jimmy Kwok, 2010,
    2. PhD Thesis H R Upekha Karunarathna, 2017,
    and
    3. Single instance on image triplcation, PhD Thesis Julie Millour, 2012/13.

    PhD Thesis Jimmy Kwok, 2010.
    Original document can be found here: https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/handle/10044/1/5940

    Highly problematic.
    Figure 3-18C. Same data vertically stretched to represent different treatments (with and without drug) and different time points.
    See:

    Highly problematic.
    Figure 3-23. Same FACS profiles, or slightly stretched FACS proflies, to represent different time points.
    See:

    Highly problematic.
    Figure 3-25. Image triplication.
    If you click on https://imgur.com/Ibj1qiK to enlarge you can see that the signal inside the yellow rectangles is not uniform, but does have features.
    A line slanting downwards towards the right in the upper part of the rectangles, and a distinct spot in the lower left of the rectangles.

    Problematic.
    Figures 3-27 and 3-34. Cytoplasmic becomes nuclear, and nuclear becomes cytoplasmic.
    See:

    Careless.
    Figures 3-14 and 3-15 contain the same information, the legends are the same, just number of words per line different.
    See:

    PhD Thesis H R Upekha Karunarathna, 2017.
    Original document can be found here: https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/handle/10044/1/52459

    Highly Problematic.
    Figure 3.4. Same FACS profiles for different treatments and different time points.
    See:

    Highly problematic (two stage image manipulation).
    Figure 5.2. 180 degree rotation and vertical stretching. Same data used to represent different things.
    See:

    Highly problematic.
    Figure 3.2C. Same image shifted down and across the page used to represent control samples from different cell lines.
    See:

    Highly problematic.
    Figure 4.8. Same FACS profile for three different treatments and two different time points.
    See:

    Problematic, but only one instance in this thesis.
    Image triplication PhD Thesis Julie Millour, 2012/13.
    Original document can be found here: https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/handle/10044/1/17849
    Figure 3.1, see:

    Like

  32. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VroniPlag_Wiki

    “Publication of a thesis consists of an overview that contains a “bar code” visualizing the amount of plagiarism, the exact bibliographic information of the theses (and if online, a link) and then a page overview that links to the fragments of plagiarism found on the page. Each fragment is classified as to the kind of plagiarism and must be verified by a second person before it is acceptable. Interesting parts are linked to separately and there is a final report published when the group feels the work is done.”

    Problem is that text can be any old story, plagiarised or not. More effective would be analysis of priomary data in PhD theses.
    This would help put an end to the marketisation of education by the corporate state (the universities).

    Like

  33. Page 161, PhD Thesis Jimmy Kwok, Imperial College, London 2010. PhD supervisor prof Eric Lam.

    Like

  34. Upper 2 panels, figure 3.2C, page 130, PhD Thesis H R Upekha Karunarathna, Imperial College 2017.
    PhD supervisor prof Eric Lam.

    Straight edges in some parts of some lanes, but not in other lanes.
    Bands becoming wider above straight edge, lane 2 right panel.
    Resorting to “image compression” does not answer these observations.

    Like

  35. Blood. 2009 Mar 12;113(11):2498-507. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-06-161281 . Epub 2008 Dec 3.
    Regulation of multiple myeloma survival and progression by CD1d.
    Spanoudakis E1, Hu M, Naresh K, Terpos E, Melo V, Reid A, Kotsianidis I, Abdalla S, Rahemtulla A, Karadimitris A.
    Author information
    1
    Department of Haematology, Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service (NHS) Trust, Hammersmith and St Mary’s Hospital, Imperial College London, London, UK.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/FE025600C4037D97B2797D17CAF3E3

    Figure 5B.

    Like

  36. Cancer Res. 2001 Nov 1;61(21):8005-13.
    Direct relation between BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase activity and cyclin D2 expression in lymphoblasts.
    Deininger MW1, Vieira SA, Parada Y, Banerji L, Lam EW, Peters G, Mahon FX, Köhler T, Goldman JM, Melo JV.
    Author information
    1
    Department of Haematology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, London W12 0NN, United Kingdom.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/11CD6B394C5CC0B0DD36A3DCB210C9

    and

    Like

  37. I used to think that Imperial College was better than UCL. I no longer believe that.

    Are the publisshing practices noted in this article, and the comments, one of the reasons they are coining it in?

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/london-reigns-supreme-capturing-research-council-funding

    “Imperial College London secured the largest amount of open-call funding in 2017-18, according to a Times Higher Education analysis of data provided by six research councils – £91.5 million, up from £72.7 million last year, a 25.8 per cent increase over a period in which the overall amount of funding distributed dropped by 8.6 per cent.”

    “UCL remained in second place, securing £89.2 million, up from £76.4 million.”.

    Like

  38. Problematic data figure 3.2A, page 96, PhD Thesis Vidhya Varghese, Imperial College 2016.
    PhD Supervisor Dr Laura Kenny, PhD co-supervisor prof Eric Lam.

    Original document can be found here: https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk/handle/10044/1/53384

    Figure 3.2A. See:

    Like

  39. Blood. 2001 May 1;97(9):2604-10.
    The influence of INK4 proteins on growth and self-renewal kinetics of hematopoietic progenitor cells.
    Lewis JL1, Chinswangwatanakul W, Zheng B, Marley SB, Nguyen DX, Cross NC, Banerji L, Glassford J, Thomas NS, Goldman JM, Lam EW, Gordon MY.
    Author information
    1
    LRF Centre for Adult Leukaemia, Department of Haematology, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Campus, London, United Kingdom.

    Figure 3.

    Like

  40. J Biol Chem. 1999 Apr 23;274(17):12009-16.
    Modulation of E2F complexes during G0 to S phase transition in human primary B-lymphocytes.
    van der Sman J1, Thomas NS, Lam EW.
    Author information

    1
    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Section of Virology and Cell Biology, Imperial College School of Medicine at St Mary’s, London W2 1PG, United Kingdom.

    Figure 2B.

    Like

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