COVID-19 Research integrity

O du lieber Augustine MK Choi

Augustine Choi is Dean of Weill Cornell and a misunderstood genius. He discovered that carbon monoxide is a cure for all possible diseases, just add a bit of Photoshop.

O du lieber Augustin, Augustin, Augustin,
O du lieber Augustin, alles ist hin.

Viennese folk song

Everything you knew about cigarettes and tobacco smoke is wrong. We now know for a fact that it protects against COVID-19, as French scientists recently discovered. While cigarettes smoke is theoretically bad, the carbon monoxide (CO), product of tobacco combustion (and car exhausts) is actually not the dangerously lethal gas we all assumed it to be. It is actually very healthy, even up to protecting the cigarette smoker, and when applied under medical supervision, it can cure many diseases. No wait, come back, you illiterate science denialists.

The highest scholarly authority in all things chemistry, the American Chemical Society (ACS), brought this magazine article in November 2019:

Now listen and learn: US scientists have discovered in a number of peer reviewed papers in highly respectable learned society journals that inhaled CO gas activates protective molecular pathways in lung and epithelial cells, thus bound to cure various diseases. The only surprising thing for me is that the article was not updated with a proposal to treat COVID-19 with carbon monoxide inhalation, since it might significantly end the disease progression by eliminating the patient.

But in any case, before you run outside to smoke a quick healthy ciggie, or to suck on a car’s exhaust tube to cure your coronavirus infection, let me introduce you to the eminent US-Korean clinical researcher who discovered the magically curative properties of carbon monoxide on lungs and other organs.

Meet Professor Augustine MK Choi, Dean of the Weill Cornell Medical School and Provost for Medical Research at the Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In his lectures, the pulmonology expert extols every year the medicinal virtues of carbon monoxide inhalation, in fact every disease in every organ can be cured by carbon monoxide, as Choi himself explains:

There is no molecule that’s been shown to be this cytoprotective in just about every organ tissue injury—brain, lung, pancreas, heart, kidney, you name it

Choi trained in Duke and Harvard and has been professor everywhere: Johns Hopkins University, Yale, Pittsburgh and then Harvard, but none of those could satisfy him enough. In 2013, he moved to Weill Cornell, where he became dean in 2017. In 2011, he received the Ho-Am Prize in Medicine, in his CV Choi explains:

The Ho-Am Prize, often referred to as the Korean equivalent of the Nobel Prize, is awarded to “ethnic Koreans who have made outstanding contributions to the development of science and culture and enhancement of the welfare of mankind

The reason Choi feels like a Nobel Prize winner, is that his gaseous discovery of CO therapy somehow connects him to Louis Ignarro, winner of the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the physiological function of the nitric oxide (NO) gas. The comparison to Nobelist Ignarro is more apt than even Choi himself would suspect!

A genius and a true visionary of science, this Professor Choi, you are surely convinced now, while lighting up a cigarette. But now, please allow me, with the kind help from Clare Francis, to introduce you to the preclinical research behind these CO discoveries.

There are presently over 30 Choi papers discussed on PubPeer. Let us start with a vintage classic, which Augustine Choi published together with his wife, Mary E Choi, nephrology professor and his close collaborator at same Weill Cornell. The work was done over 20 years ago back at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Beek Yoke Chin, Irina Petrache, Augustine M. K. Choi, Mary E. Choi Transforming growth factor beta1 rescues serum deprivation-induced apoptosis via the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in macrophages Journal of Biological Chemistry (1999) doi: 10.1074/jbc.274.16.11362

The last two bands are most certainly cloned, the little arrows highlight the identifying similarities. The gel image also lacks background, likely to hide all traces of digital manipulation. The first author Beek Yoke Chin is now a star scientist back in his home country Malaysia, celebrated as “Professor with a passion to make a difference“.

Here another paper by same Dr Chin, again with his mentor Mr and Mrs Choi. That paper offers a whole menu selection of western blot fakeries.

Beek Yoke Chin, Amir Mohsenin, Su Xia Li, Augustine M. K. Choi, Mary E. Choi Stimulation of pro-alpha(1)(I) collagen by TGF-beta(1) in mesangial cells: role of the p38 MAPK pathway American journal of physiology. Renal physiology (2001) doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.2001.280.3.f495

These gel bands were copy-pasted very lazily, because 20 years ago, nobody paid much attention to data integrity. And why should anyone, it was the Golden Age of the Photoshop. Western blots are often ridiculed as a bad method, and criticised for being a source of fraud. Which in my view is weird, since the very reason so much uncovered fraud evidence is based on western blots is because these results, unlike all other molecular biology methods, are very difficult to fake digitally.

But I still have not shown you any CO-related research, so now it comes. Below, the Choi lab has been reusing western blot bands not just inside a paper, but between papers.

Ruiping Song, Raja S. Mahidhara, Fang Liu, Wen Ning, Leo E. Otterbein, Augustine M. K. Choi Carbon monoxide inhibits human airway smooth muscle cell proliferation via mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (2002) doi: 10.1165/rcmb.4851

Ruiping Song, Wen Ning, Fang Liu, Bill T. Ameredes, William J. Calhoun, Leo E. Otterbein, Augustine M. K. Choi Regulation of IL-1beta -induced GM-CSF production in human airway smooth muscle cells by carbon monoxide AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (2003) doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00212.2002

It doesn’t look nice at all when whole western blot panels are reused in another paper to represent a different experiment, with different treatments. And then there also gel bands, cloned inside and between gels. In better news, Choi is Associate Editor in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, published by the American Thoracic Society, where he held several leadership positions, so it will be him and his friends deciding about a correction which will not be needed anyway.

The significant co-author and Choi-mentee behind those gel fabrications adventure is Leo Otterbein, now Harvard professor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (where Pier Paolo Pandolfi used to be). This Choi’s PhD graduate is credited as co-discoverer of the CO therapy, STAT wrote in 2017Exactly who came up with this idea remains a contentious point between the two scientists today“. Otterbein is also a businessman, acting as principal scientific advisor for the CO-therapy marketing company Hillhurst. He has been cited in the aforementioned ACS magazine article:

There’s been enough preclinical data,” says Leo E. Otterbein, who studies the physiological effects of CO at Harvard Medical School. “The time has come—the time is past—to get this into humans and at least see if it works.

Enough data there has been indeed, but which kind of data, Professor Otterbein? The fabricated kind? Not really in agreement with your Hippocratic Oath to make patients inhale a deadly gas based on such “preclinical data”. Like this here:

Tamás Dolinay, Mária Szilasi, Mingyao Liu, Augustine M. K. Choi Inhaled carbon monoxide confers antiinflammatory effects against ventilator-induced lung injury American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (2004) doi: 10.1164/rccm.200401-023oc

It does very much look like a cloned gel band again, which sure could save the lives of many COVID-19 patients on ventilators. The first author and pulmonologist Tamas Dolinay is now employed by UCLA Santa Monica. Before we continue with Professor Choi’s carbon monoxide research, the following quote from Otterbein is hilarious, it was published by ACS magazine unironically though. It refers to his PhD advisor Choi:

“I’ll never forget this one guy,” Otterbein recalls. After he gave his first talk at a conference, a man from the US Environmental Protection Agency stood up in the audience and denounced his work, fuming that his results reflected a nonspecific response and that his work would never be clinically relevant because it proposed to expose people to unsafe levels of CO. Back at Johns Hopkins, colleagues were similarly unsupportive. “My dissertation committee said to pick a different topic,” Otterbein says. “They said, ‘This is stupid; don’t waste your time.’

My personal theory is that this exact anti-science denialism is what prevents us from having a COVID-19 cure. If only the world would finally accept Professor Choi’s wisdom about the amazing healing effect of carbon monoxide, especially on lungs. Doesn’t it stand to reason that CO must be the ultimate cure for the coronavirus infection, since it worked so well in Photoshop?

But because of all that medieval animosity towards what is merely one of the most toxic gases, we can’t have good things.

Of course Professor Choi himself set up his own business to peddle CO as therapeutic inhalation gas. The company Proterris which Choi founded together with the cardiologist David Pinsky from the University of Michigan, has also been celebrated by the ACS article. Proterris already developed a ventilating device which can stream admixed CO into patients’ lungs. Go ahead, try it.

Ready for some more research into carbon monoxide? Now, according to the wise Professor Choi, inhaled CO exerts its “anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative properties” in lung and blood vessel cells by activating the enzyme heme oxygenase-1. And this is the research behind it:

Xue Wang, Yushen Zhou, Hong Pyo Kim, Ruiping Song, Reza Zarnegar, Stefan W Ryter, Augustine M K Choi Hepatocyte growth factor protects against hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced apoptosis in endothelial cells Journal of Biological Chemistry (2004) doi: 10.1074/jbc.M309271200

Hong Pyo Kim, Xue Wang , Zhi-Hua Chen , Seon-Jin Lee , Min-Hsin Huang , Yong Wang , Stefan W Ryter , Augustine M K Choi Autophagic proteins regulate cigarette smoke-induced apoptosis: protective role of heme oxygenase-1 Autophagy (2008) doi: 10.4161/auto.6767

Confusing, isn’t it? What are those gel bands doing jumping inside and between two, no wait, three, no, four different papers? They are proving to you that carbon monoxide is healthy, that’s what they do. You might notice that I listed only two of these 4 papers above, that is because the other two papers are also part of a bigger block with two more papers in the next instalment of Professor Choi’s Carbon Monoxide Orgy.

Xue Wang, Yong Wang, Seon-Jin Lee, Hong Pyo Kim, Augustine MK Choi, Stefan W Ryter Carbon monoxide inhibits Fas activating antibody-induced apoptosis in endothelial cells Medical Gas Research (2011) doi: 10.1186/2045-9912-1-8

That journal was sold by BioMedCentral in 2015, maybe because Medical Gas Research used to publish such insane garbage like Otterbein’s 2013 editorial “Quoth the Raven: carbon monoxide and nothing more“, which addressed the ill health and death of the poet Edgar Allen Poe and where Otterbein concluded with an an urgent need “to move inhaled carbon monoxide into clinical application as a therapeutic.

Update 25.08.2020: that Wang et al 2011 paper will be retracted, as Editorial Office of Medical Gas Research wrote to Clare Francis (highlight theirs):

Dear Dr. Claire Francis,
After discussion and based on the evidence you provided, the Editorial Office of Medical Gas Research has determined to retract the manuscript
According to the COPE flowchart for suspected plagiarism in a published manuscript, we’ve contacted the corresponding author in writing, the author’s responses are expected to be sent back before the end of August.
The retraction will be announced once we received the author explanation.

Update 6.01.2021. The retraction is apparently cancelled. The Medical Gas Research editorial office informed Clare Francis:

To follow the guidelines by COPE, we have contacted the corresponding author Dr. Stefan W. Ryter to address the questions. Based on the author’s response, the editor-in-chief decided to give him another chance to repeat the experiment using the orginal [sic] conditions and to verify the validity of the original findings afterwards. […] We will inform you the final decision by the editor-in-chief either an erratum or retraction note will be placed with the article based on the new figure the author provided.

This is Ryter’s Corrigendum, where “The results as follows are submitted to replace the original data in the manuscript and do not change the scientific interpretation of the manuscript.

These are the other 3 papers of Choi’s lab fraudulent quadriga:

Xue Wang, Yong Wang, Jinglan Zhang, Hong Pyo Kim, Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M. K. Choi FLIP protects against hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced endothelial cell apoptosis by inhibiting Bax activation Molecular and Cellular Biology (2005) doi: 10.1128/mcb.25.11.4742-4751.2005

Xue Wang, Yong Wang, Hong Pyo Kim, Kiichi Nakahira, Stefan W. Ryter, Augustine M. K. Choi Carbon monoxide protects against hyperoxia-induced endothelial cell apoptosis by inhibiting reactive oxygen species formation Journal of Biological Chemistry (2007) doi: 10.1074/jbc.m607610200

Dirk-Jan Slebos, Stefan W. Ryter, Marco Van Der Toorn, Fang Liu, Fengli Guo, Catherine J. Baty, Jenny M. Karlsson, Simon C. Watkins, Hong Pyo Kim, Xue Wang, Janet S. Lee, Dirkje S. Postma, Henk F. Kauffman, Augustine M. K. Choi Mitochondrial Localization and Function of Heme Oxygenase-1 in Cigarette Smoke–Induced Cell Death American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (2007) doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2006-0214oc

 

The significant co-author on all these 6 utterly fabricated papers is Stefan Ryter , now assistant professor and program director at Brigham & Womens Hospital at Harvard. As it happens, Ryter was involved in a phase 2 clinical trial at Brigham & Womens, on behalf of Choi. It produced no significant effect for CO versus placebo, but some adverse events in the patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (Casanova et al Scientific Reports 2019), i.e. an utter failure.

The authors nevertheless advocate for further clinical research of carbon monoxide. Even though the results from their other clinical trial with CO at Brigham & Womens, on 48 (reduced to 12) patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, remain unpublished.

Now, we stay in our cigarette break to admire two collaborative works of Choi with a fibrosis researcher from Medical University of South Carolina, Carol Ferghali-Bostwick.

Chao-Jun Li , Wen Ning , Michael A. Matthay , Carol A. Feghali-Bostwick, Augustine M. K. Choi MAPK pathway mediates EGR-1-HSP70-dependent cigarette smoke-induced chemokine production AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (2007) doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00194.2006

Figure 4A

Next to reused western blot bands to fabricate loading controls in Figure 7, you can appreciate the detailed analysis of Figure 4A, where a band was obviously digitally copy-pasted onto an empty background. The Figure 5 in the other Choi-Ferghali copro-duction is also worth appreciating:

Hidekata Yasuoka, Zhihong Zhou, Joseph M. Pilewski, Tim D. Oury, Augustine M.K. Choi, Carol A. Feghali-Bostwick Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-5 induces pulmonary fibrosis and triggers mononuclear cellular infiltration American Journal Of Pathology (2006) doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2006.060501

The quasi-Nobelist Choi so far had only one retraction, for “data discrepancies” of his lab’s paper Siempos et al Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2014. It was not a real retraction though, because a “corrected” version was republished right away, to replace the old one. But the next collaborative paper might get retracted despite Choi’s high status in US academia and medicine. It was published in collaboration witha certain Ross Summer, Choi’s pulmonology colleague from Thomas Jefferson University.

Freddy Romero, Xu Hong, Dilip Shah, Caleb B. Kallen, Ivan Rosas, Zhi Guo, DeLeila Schriner, Julie Barta, Hoora Shaghaghi, Jan B. Hoek, Clementina Mesaros, Augustine M. Choi , Nathaniel W. Snyder, Ross Summer Lipid Synthesis Is Required to Resolve Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Limit Fibrotic Responses in the Lung American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (2018) doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2017-0340oc

Summer namely has his own very shameful PubPeer record of ridiculously falsified data in (currently 6) papers from his lab. For one particularly hair-raising Photoshop production (Shah et al Scientific Reports 2015), Summer announced on PubPeer to share what he assumes to be raw data with the journal only.

Now, it is safe to assume that Choi’s groundbreaking discovery of carbon monoxide panacea is based on nothing else but Photoshop data fabrications in his lab. Who did those, in papers going back to more than 20 years, is up to you to guess. The only thing certain is that neither the medical school nor the university gives a flying toss, especially since Choi keeps pulling million-heavy grants, including for Weill Cornell (who recently received $2mn gift from Citadel investment bankers to study hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19).

This is what the office of the Cornell president wrote to Clare Francis when the latter tried to notify the university of the concerns with Choi’s papers:

Please remove the Office of the President from these emails as our office is not involved in the matter.

Which means: in the best case, Cornell expects the medical school head Choi to investigate himself. Now you probably also will understand why nobody will ever investigate the papers of the former Weill Cornell researchers, Andrea Cerutti and Paolo Casale.

What I personally think is less funny in this Choi affair, is the possibility reality of actual human patients being intubated with one of the most toxic gases, carbon monoxide, based on falsified research. Next to a phase 2 trial mentioned above, other CO trials have already happened, as Choi’s company Proterris proudly announces on their website:

Proterris raised enormous fund, including $21 million granted to Choi by NIH just for clinical trials, and expanded its operations. Really, why not using CO for COVID-19? Just Photoshop the results.

The STAT article from 2017 quotes Choi reminiscing about his CO discoveries:

The first three to five years were hell. I thought my career might be over. But I believed in it. In research, you have to believe your data.


Update 20.10.2020

You cannot imagine a better outcome of this affair. Dr Choi has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine!


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61 comments on “O du lieber Augustine MK Choi

  1. FASEB J. 2005 Jan;19(1):106-8. doi: 10.1096/fj.04-2514fje. Epub 2004 Oct 28.
    Inhalation of carbon monoxide prevents liver injury and inflammation following hind limb ischemia/reperfusion
    Michael C Ott 1, Jeffrey R Scott, Aurelia Bihari, Amit Badhwar, Leo E Otterbein, Daryl K Gray, Kenneth A Harris, Richard F Potter
    Affiliation
    1
    Victoria Research Lab, 6th Floor, Rm. A6-105, 800 Commissioners Rd., London, ON, Canada N6A 4G4. rpotter@uwo.ca

    Highly problematic data figure 3A.
    Repetitive elements through the background.
    Also the leftmost parts of 4 bands are very similar.

    Close-up right part of figure 3A

    Full figure 3A.

    See: https://imgur.com/PzI1ohG

    Like

    • More highly problematic data FASEB J. 2005 Jan;19(1):106-8. doi: 10.1096/fj.04-2514fje. Epub 2004 Oct 28.

      More problematic data figure 3A. More repetitive background areas.

      Like

      • Even more problematic data FASEB J. 2005 Jan;19(1):106-8. doi: 10.1096/fj.04-2514fje. Epub 2004 Oct 28.

        Left part figure 3A for detail. Repetitive elements in background.

        Like

  2. NMH, the failed scientist and incel

    Zeb has apparently exposed what I call “an intimate circle of fraud” in the world of biomedical research: here, whole labs create fake results that support other peoples work and a whole new field of research appears, such that the PI’s can get millions of dollars of grant money, allowing them to pose in pics with famous people. Yes, I know, I know, a famous, well funded, and serotonin-stoked scientist might say this is only a conspiracy theory from a failed scientist in academia.

    Like

  3. J Clin Invest. 2006 Mar;116(3):808-16. doi: 10.1172/JCI26857.
    1 comment on PubPeer (by: Megacrex Inepta)  Epub 2006 Feb 16.Heme oxygenase-1 is a modulator of inflammation and vaso-occlusion in transgenic sickle miceJohn D. Belcher,1 Hemachandra Mahaseth,1 Thomas E. Welch,1 Leo E. Otterbein,2 Robert P. Hebbel,1 and Gregory M. Vercellotti1

    1Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, Department of Medicine and Vascular Biology Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.  
    2Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.  

    Problematic data (much more similar than expected) figure 6A.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/0F8C2E417D4D1B420171FAF0549DE2

    and for more problematic data

    Like

  4. FASEB J. 2005 Jan;19(1):106-8. doi: 10.1096/fj.04-2514fje. Epub 2004 Oct 28.

    Figure 3A. Even more repetitve elements right third image.

    Like

  5. https://www.bidmc.org/research/research-by-department/surgery/transplant-surgery/leo-otterbein

    “Research Focus
    Inhaled carbon monoxide (CO) is in numerous FDA phase trials, based in large part from the research that has arisen from my laboratory over the past decade.”

    That is slighlty worrying given FASEB J. 2005 Jan;19(1):106-8. doi: 10.1096/fj.04-2514fje
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/3047BD7A42742A62F0FCEEFFC322F3

    Also, given string of problematic data.
    https://pubpeer.com/search?q=leo+otterbein

    which are also about carbon monoxide.
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/6C1C156836124E49A82EC3CEBE02B9 Senior author Augustine Choi
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/44451E8257CBE7E450F7CBB2ECF067 Senior author Augustine Choi
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/0CB5A4BC7C0B7E8A6FB48585F5D21E
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/0F8C2E417D4D1B420171FAF0549DE2
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/0CAA1595C367E45A3578EFBF4B5B5F

    Like

  6. Biomedicine & PharmacotherapyVolume 120, December 2019, 109524

    Chung Hun Wha Dam Tang attenuates atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice via the NF-κB pathway

    Yeonsoo Joe a,1 Md Jamal Uddin a,b1 Jeongmin Park a Jinhyun Ryu c Gyeong Jae Cho c Jeong Woo Park a Hye-Seon Choi a Min Ho Chad Stefan W.Ryter e Hun Taeg Chung a

    a School of Biological Sciences, University of Ulsan, Ulsan 44610, Republic of Korea
    b Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Republic of Korea
    c Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine and Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, 52727, Republic of Korea
    d Clinical Medicine Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 1672 Yuseong-daero, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34054, Republic of Korea
    e Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY 10065, USA

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109524  

    Problematic data figure 2C. Much more similar than expected.

    Like

  7. It’s a month since comments about Augustine Choi’s data first appeared on Pubpeer.
    I wonder when Choi will deign to reply.

    Like

    • NMH, the failed scientist and incel

      Only if you refer to him as “your excellency” (he constantly refers to himself as achieving excellence).

      Like

  8. Contact! Hong Pyo Kim, frequent co-author with Augustine Choi, makes contact with Louis J Iganrro!
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=choi+am+kim+hp

    FASEB J. 2012 Jun;26(6):2558-68. doi: 10.1096/fj.11-199604. Epub 2012 Mar 5.
    Sensing endoplasmic reticulum stress by protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase promotes adaptive mitochondrial DNA biogenesis and cell survival via heme oxygenase-1/carbon monoxide activity
    Min Zheng 1, Seul-Ki Kim, Yeonsoo Joe, Sung Hoon Back, Hong R Cho, Hong Pyo Kim, Louis J Ignarro, Hun-Taeg Chung
    Affiliations collapse
    Affiliation
    1Department of Surgery, Ulsan University Hospital and School of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Ulsan, Korea.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/AA5FEAE8EC26B08FC3896D253D65E8

    Figure 2

    Figure 4

    Like

  9. We do have to get to the bottom of “carbon monoxide being good for us at low concentrations” as spouted by Augustine Choi.

    https://www.newhealthadvisor.org/Carbon-Monoxide-Suicide.html

    Like

    • NMH, the failed scientist and incel

      Choi has not tweeted in nearly a month, so we are spared the “excellence” drivel. A possible analogy is that Clare and Leo yelling into the forest, and the crickets and cicadas stopped tweeting, I mean chirping. Enjoy the silence for the moment.

      Like

  10. Lee Rudolph

    “Choi has not tweeted in nearly a month”

    Perhaps a CO OD?

    Like

  11. https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2020/05/weill-cornell-medicine-celebrates-virtual-commencement

    By Kathryn Inman | May 29, 2020

    “As graduates of Weill Cornell Medicine, you have the potential to transform medicine and science long after this pandemic has passed,” [Dean Augustine] Choi said. “You’ve been trained in the distinctive culture of Weill Cornell Medicine – defined by the emphasis we place on academic excellence, independent thinking, collaboration and diversity. It’s in your DNA.”

    In retrospective that is quite funny!

    I’m not sure what Choi means by “It’s in your DNA”. Is he implying that some people have more of the right DNA to start with? If so there woud be little need for for the academic excellence, independent thinking, collaboration and diversity, which at least Weill Cornell emphasizes in speeches. Can Choi identify these people beforehand? Which tests does he use to those who have the right DNA? Would those with the right DNA be placed in streams which needed less teaching? Would those who did not have the right DNA require special measures such as hypnopaedia? Or, is Choi using the phrase “It”s in your DNA” to mean that Weill Cornell is so good at academic excellence, independent thinking, collaboration and diversity that these attributes will be incalcated into the students?

    Could Dean Choi illustrate on the distinctive culture of Weill Cornell Medicine with some examples of real people and their work, not generalised themes?

    In the light of his own data would Dean Choi still consider that he exhibited academic excellence and independent thinking?

    Like

  12. NMH, the failed scientist and incel

    This is what happens when the people working for you are too afraid, or too ambitious, to tell the boss his ideas don’t work. The boss gets an overly inflated view of how good his ideas are, and this is made worse when he/she gets millions in RO1 funding. And then he thinks he/she is special and can give people associated with him extra value, or excellence, if you will.

    But now, instead, the people that work for him will be more careful to hide their fraud. After all, you need a steady stream of publications to get grant money, and in the end that is all the school cares about. Then he can be excellent yet again.

    Like

  13. This article has become quite popular. Is there a resignation in the offing?

    Like

    • NMH, the failed scientist and incel

      Individuals who revel in their own excellence do not resign. Think Trump.

      Like

      • More likely in New York, Philadelphia, or elsewhere?
        Likely depends on which journals retract first and more often.

        Like

  14. NMH, the failed scientist and incel

    No tweets from Choi in nearly 2 months….I will keep track of this.

    Like

  15. Choi was just “elected” to the institute of medicine. Unbelievable.

    Augustine M.K. Choi, MD, Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean, Weill Cornell Medicine, and provost for Medical Affairs, Cornell University, New York City. For pioneering the field of gaseous molecules to develop novel therapies to treat lung and non-pulmonary diseases, and making a transformative impact to improve mentorship, diversity and financial equity in medical education.

    Like

    • NMH, the failed scientist and incel

      I went into science thinking who you know is not important, and that the quality of work you did would speak for itself and, if it was correct and “good work”, that this would open doors. Didn’t matter what impact factor journal was, as long as it was reproducible by your and other labs. Needless to say, I was completely wrong about that.

      Yes, in reality, your published work does matter…but it doesn’t matter is its correct or not. It matters from whom it came from, and the impact factor of the journals its in. I think that this sad fact is true is a pretty good indictment of our species right there.

      Like

  16. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2018 Mar 1;314(3):L372-L387.
    doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00393.2017. Epub 2017 Nov 2.
    NLRP3 inflammasome activation in aged macrophages is diminished during Streptococcus pneumoniae infection
    Soo Jung Cho 1, Kristen Rooney 1, Augustine M K Choi 1, Heather W Stout-Delgado 1
    Affiliations collapse
    Affiliation
    1Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine , New York, New York.
    PMID: 29097427

    Figures 4B and 4C. Much more similar after vertical re-sizing than expected.

    https://pubpeer.com/publications/D6C326FE025F5013BAA49D6CE0A843#1

    Like

  17. “Summer namely has his own very shameful PubPeer record of ridiculously falsified data in (currently 6) papers from his lab.”

    2020 retraction for Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2014;51:840–849.

    2020 retraction. https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/10.1165/rcmb.v63retraction2
    An article published in the December 2014 issue of the Journal (1) has been retracted by the authors. It was discovered that the GAPDH band in Figure 4C is incorrect and is identical to that used in Figure 4D. Moreover, the images used to represent acetyl-CoA synthase in Figure 4D and pAMPK in Figure 4C are the same. In addition, anomalies were identified in the Western blot images for AMPK (Figure 4C) and FASN (Figure 4D). Based on these findings, although the authors continue to stand behind the conclusions reached, the scientific integrity of the manuscript has been compromised. All the authors have agreed to this decision, and they apologize to the Journal and its readers.

    Romero F, Shah D, Duong M, Stafstrom W, Hoek JB, Kallen CB, Lang CH, Summer R. Chronic alcohol ingestion in rats alters lung metabolism, promotes lipid accumulation, and impairs alveolar macrophage functions. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2014;51:840–849.

    Pubpeer record: https://pubpeer.com/publications/9E02FA3E3B6BF2B7F8E1F3B160EEC5

    Like

  18. “Summer namely has his own very shameful PubPeer record of ridiculously falsified data in (currently 6) papers from his lab.”

    2020 retraction for Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2017;57:204–215.

    2020 retraction https://doi.org/10.1165/rcmb.v63retraction1  
    This article (1) has been retracted by the authors. It was discovered that the same immunoblot images were used to represent two different experimental conditions. This includes Figure 1D in which a blot of GRP78 is identical to a blot labeled as β-catenin in another paper (2), and Figure 2F in which a blot of GADPH is identical to a portion of a GAPDH image used in that paper (2). In addition, anomalies were identified in the Western blot images in Figures 1D, 2B, 2F, 2H, 3A, 3E, 3F, and 5B. Given that the scientific integrity of this study has been compromised, the authors believe that retraction of this paper is the best course of action. All the authors have agreed to this decision.The authors apologize to the Journal and its readers.
    1.Shah D, Romero F, Guo Z, Sun J, Li J, Kallen CB, Naik UP, Summer R. Obesity-induced endoplasmic reticulum stress causes lung endothelial dysfunction and promotes acute lung injury. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2017;57:204–215.
    2.Shah D, Romero F, Duong M, Wang N, Paudyal B, Suratt BT, Kallen CB, Sun J, Zhu Y, Walsh K, 
    Summer R. Obesity-induced adipokine imbalance impairs mouse pulmonary vascular endothelial function and primes the lung for injury. Sci Rep 2015;5:11362.

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  19. NMH, the failed scientist and incel

    No tweets in 3 months. If only our president could be humbled by failure in this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pingback: mTOR: conclusions not affected? – For Better Science

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