Research integrity University Affairs

Imperial Adcock – from Barnes to Iran!

"the College would have been well within its rights to reject all of your allegations..."

Imperial College London is the place where bad science is business philosophy. Meet Ian Adcock, professor for respiratory cell and molecular biology at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI). He has over 20 papers on PubPeer, but our hero is merely a symptom of the very sick British elite university system. He is a product of bad mentorship, surrounded by other rotten apples which all fell from the same tree. Science and medicine would only profit were Adcock and his NHLI partners sent off to explore alternative careers, but alas, profit is all which Imperial College is interested in. Because fake science brings real money.

The Imperial College has a new President now, Hugh Brady. Who back in Ireland co-authored several rather problematic papers with manipulated data, so he is indeed fully qualified. Imperial’s former president Alice Gast had to resign over bullying, favouritism and her attempts to cover up the investigation. A climate very conductive to bad science.

But now, to Adcock. Whose work was scrutinised for years by the image integrity sleuth Clare Francis.

Let me start with a retraction.

Mark M. Perry, Bernadett Tildy , Alberto Papi , Paolo Casolari , Gaetano Caramori , Karen Limbert Rempel , Andrew J. Halayko , Ian Adcock , Kian Fan Chung The anti-proliferative and anti-inflammatory response of COPD airway smooth muscle cells to hydrogen sulfide Respiratory Research (2018) doi: 10.1186/s12931-018-0788-x

The evidence was posted on PubPeer in 2018, but Adcock replied only 2 years later to blame the “lead author” Mark Perry, now lecturer at the University of Westminster. In August 2021, the paper was retracted with the notice:

“An investigation by Imperial College into the integrity of these images was unable to reach a conclusion as it was established that the raw data and images from this study are not available for examination; it was therefore recommended that the article be retracted.”

Adcock reacted to retraction in this way (his comment was for some reason moderated):

I reached out to Dr Perry who was unable to provide the original figures as he did not keep the data after he left Imperial. According to College regulations he should have kept these for 10 years on file. We have been searching for these without success.

Perry did not reply to my email. Maybe he accepts the blame. The last author of that paper was Adcock’s Imperial colleague at NHLI and fellow professor of respiratory medicine Kian Fan Chung. Chung has many joint publications with Adcock on PubPeer, not just that retracted one. In 2012, Adcock and Chung retracted a paper for self-plagiarism (Adcock et al 2006). Here is a badly fake paper from Cung’s lab, without Adcock:

Shaoping Xie , Maria B. Sukkar , Razao Issa , Ute Oltmanns , Andrew G. Nicholson , Kian Fan Chung Regulation of TGF-beta 1-induced connective tissue growth factor expression in airway smooth muscle cells AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (2005) doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00156.2004 

Thing is, Chung doesn’t comment on PubPeer. So it’s more interesting to focus this article on Adcock. Here is something from my “favourite” domain – fraudulent tobacco research, the biggest present one can give to cigarette industry:

John A Marwick , Christopher S Stevenson , Kian Fan Chung , Ian M Adcock, Paul A Kirkham Cigarette Smoke Exposure Alters mSin3a and Mi-2alpha/beta Expression; implications in the control of pro-inflammatory gene transcription and glucocorticoid function Journal of Inflammation (2010) doi: 10.1186/1476-9255-7-33 

Adcock blamed in February 2021 John Marwick, a former postdoc at NHLI:

When this was raised several years ago the lead author contacted the Journal and provided them with all the original blots.

In April 2021, the paper was corrected, figures 1 and 4 received replacement blots. Obviously the “original” blots weren’t any good. Or not original. Another paper received a Correction in 2021 as well, right after it was published:

Nazanin Zounemat Kermani , Woo-Jung Song , Yusef Badi , Ali Versi , Yike Guo , Kai Sun , Pank Bhavsar , Peter Howarth , Sven-Erik Dahlen , Peter J. Sterk , Ratko Djukanovic , Ian M. Adcock, Kian Fan Chung Sputum ACE2, TMPRSS2 and FURIN gene expression in severe neutrophilic asthma Respiratory research (2021) doi: 10.1186/s12931-020-01605-8

“Following publication of the original article [1], we were notified that Fig 2b and 2c were duplicated. Figure 2c should be the data from bronchial biopsy. Also, in Additional Table S1, the values for Female Asthma and Control under Bronchial Brushing were swapped…”

For these papers with Chung however, Adcock never commented, or saw the need to issue any corrections for:

Mark M. Perry , Christopher K. Hui , Matthew Whiteman , Mark E. Wood , Ian Adcock , Paul Kirkham , Charalambos Michaeloudes , Kian Fan Chung Hydrogen sulfide inhibits proliferation and release of IL-8 from human airway smooth muscle cells American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology (2011) doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2010-0304oc 
Razao Issa , Shaoping Xie , Nadia Khorasani , Maria Sukkar , Ian M. Adcock, Kang-Yun Lee , Kian Fan Chung Corticosteroid inhibition of growth-related oncogene protein-alpha via mitogen-activated kinase phosphatase-1 in airway smooth muscle cells The Journal of Immunology (2007) doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.178.11.7366

The co-author Paul Kirkham you met above (and will meet below) used to run a lab at Imperial NHLI and is now professor of cell biology at the University of Wolverhampton. It’s not just the Adcock co-authored papers by Kirkham which are problematic, reader is invited to appreciate Marwick et al 2010 (with the same first author Adcock commandeered to supply “original” blots above). You must also meet Kazuhiro Ito, professor for respiratory medicine at NHLI, whose name you will keep seeing on Adcock’s papers. So here they are, the Imperial geniuses of NHLI an some Italians:

John A. Marwick , Gaetano Caramori , Christopher S. Stevenson , Paolo Casolari , Elen Jazrawi , Peter J. Barnes , Kazuhiro Ito , Ian M. Adcock, Paul A. Kirkham, Alberto Papi Inhibition of PI3Kdelta restores glucocorticoid function in smoking-induced airway inflammation in mice American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (2009) doi: 10.1164/rccm.200810-1570oc 

It is quite likely the manipulations happened in Adcock’s lab. As in this case:

Youming Zhang , Thanushiyan Poobalasingam , Laura L. Yates , Simone A. Walker , Martin S. Taylor , Lauren Chessum , Jackie Harrison , Loukia Tsaprouni, Ian M. Adcock , Clare M. Lloyd , William O. Cookson , Miriam F. Moffatt , Charlotte H. Dean Manipulation of Dipeptidylpeptidase 10 in mouse and human in vivo and in vitro models indicates a protective role in asthma Disease Models & Mechanisms (2017) doi: 10.1242/dmm.031369 

Actinopolyspora biskrensis: “Could the authors please post original uncropped scans of the Western blots in figure 5D? There are some concerning patterns visible in the background.”

The paper was flagged on PubPeer in July 2020, when it was merely 2 years old. But Adcock declared right away that the raw data was lost:

I apologise but I do not have an original full size blot and I have not been able to contact Dr Tsaprouni who performed the original experiments in 2006.

Adcock also added that he and his postdoc “have lost track since 2017 when they moved or left science and I do not have a current active email account.” The paper was submitted in July 2017, possibly without Loukia Tsapourni‘s knowledge? And how exactly does one achieve to be unable to find the contact data of a Research Director for the School of Health Sciences at the Birmingham City University in UK? The alternative theory may be that Adcock is taking the piss here.

But Adcock can do ever better piss-taking!

Antonino Di Stefano , Fabio L.M. Ricciardolo , Gaetano Caramori , Ian M. Adcock , Kian Fan Chung , Peter J. Barnes , Paola Brun , Andrea Leonardi , Filippo Andò , Davide Vallese , Isabella Gnemmi , Luisella Righi , Francesco Cappello , Bruno Balbi Bronchial inflammation and bacterial load in stable COPD is associated with TLR4 overexpression European Respiratory Journal (2017) doi: 10.1183/13993003.02006-2016

Tabebuia rosea: “Is there any good explanation for the fact that the curves in Figure 3 b and d are similar to a and c when flipped vertically?”

Adcock explained on PubPeer in July 2020:

I had this response from the primary author. ‘this is most probably because the total load for doing correlations is expressed as the sum of the four bacteria studied.

That of course is bullshit, and the last author Bruno Balbi is not to be trusted anyway – he collaborated with a massive cheater Mirella Profita on a problematic paper (Folino et al 2020). Read about her here:

The Cigarette Mob of Palermo

On the gate of Constantinople was written, in a steel plate, the order of the Sultan: “All the males of the Gjomarkaj, generation after generation, from the cradle to the grave, will carry the title of Kapidan”

Grandpa Barnes

But those Italians are pathetic amateurs compared to the English pros like Adcock and his mentor, or rather godfather, Peter Barnes – the Imperial College professor for thoracic medicine, Fellow of the Royal Society, and the man who probably still runs NHLI behind the curtains. A lot of other professorial cheaters at Imperial, including Chung and Ito, seem to owe their careers to Barnes.

The grand Imperial professor had 4 retractions with a certain struck-off clinician Edward Erin, who recently served an 8 year prison sentence. It was a big scandal in the UK over a decade ago, here for example The Independent from 2013:

“The medical trial began in 2003, when a dozen researchers at Imperial College London began trialling a new drug on 38 asthma sufferers at St Mary’s Hospital, London, where Dr Edward Erin worked as a consultant.

Erin denies fabricating data but an Imperial College Committee of Inquiry concluded that he was the person ‘most likely to be responsible for the inaccuracies’ established by its investigation. As a consequence of the Committee’s findings, a number of papers reporting trial findings were formally withdrawn. In an extraordinary coincidence, by the time serious concerns about Erin’s research were raised, he had been arrested in relation to an entirely different matter – an attempt to cause his girlfriend to miscarry her unborn child by poisoning her. He was subsequently jailed for six years.

His sentence was later extended by two years after it emerged that he had tried to persuade a formal cellmate to steal the woman’s mobile phone and send a text message which ‘confessed’ to having set Erin up.  The cellmate also alleged in court that Erin had wanted him to kill the woman and her son. That claim was not established.”

Barnes was the most senior figure running this trial with the immunosuppressive antibody Golimumab, which was eventually terminated:

““There were serious side effects,” Professor Barnes said. “Pneumonia and cancer.””

One trial participant died, 8 developed malignancies. Barnes was not only fully whitewashed of all responsibility, he even successfully painted himself as the whistleblower:

““Erin did not seem different to any to any other research fellow,” Professor Barnes said. “He worked there. Was always in and working.” He discovered that Erin had consistently changed results for about three years. “The judge was absolutely right about Erin,” he said. “He was a liar and a cheat. But psychopaths are very convincing. It could happen to anyone.”

He continued: “Before he was arrested, we had no suspicions. We only had concerns about Erin because he was arrested and convicted of a crime. The person in a related area was not getting similar results. We obtained the notebook which contained the original data that Erin had taken. He had systematically changed figures.””

Of course, an alternative version is possible. Maybe the research fraud only became a bit of a problem when it started to kill people. Maybe Barnes never noticed Erin’s fraud because data forgery was always a common practice under his watch. Maybe they silenced people who tried to warn of Erin’s fraud, but when Erin was arrested for attempted murder, the real whistleblowers finally came through. Maybe Barnes is not at all innocent?

Here is how Adcock learned from Barnes to do science, a vintage study:

Ian M Adcock , Yasuyuki Nasuhara , David A Stevens , Peter J Barnes Ligand-induced differentiation of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) trans-repression and transactivation: preferential targetting of NF-kappaB and lack of I-kappaB involvement British Journal of Pharmacology (1999) doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0702613 

A few years later, Barnes-trained Adcock and Ito were showing off their skills:

Silvana Morello, Kazuhiro Ito, Satoshi Yamamura , Kang-Yun Lee , Elen Jazrawi , Patricia Desouza , Peter Barnes , Carla Cicala , Ian M. Adcock IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha regulation of the adenosine receptor (A2A) expression: differential requirement for NF-kappa B binding to the proximal promoter The Journal of Immunology (2006) doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.177.10.7173 

Aren’t the boys great? So many papers in fine journals, and voila, Barnes made sure Adcock and Ito became professors without even leaving their Imperial home.

Nicholas Mercado , Yasuo To , Yoshiki Kobayashi , Ian M. Adcock , Peter J. Barnes , Kazuhiro Ito p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase-γ inhibition by long-acting β2 adrenergic agonists reversed steroid insensitivity in severe asthma Molecular Pharmacology (2011) doi: 10.1124/mol.111.071993 

Look at this set of two fake papers, the first author Kittipong Maneechotesuwan is now professor in Malaysia, probably was homesick:

Kittipong Maneechotesuwan, Yao Xin , Kazuhiro Ito, Elen Jazrawi , Kang-Yun Lee , Omar S. Usmani, Peter J. Barnes, Ian M. Adcock Regulation of Th2 cytokine genes by p38 MAPK-mediated phosphorylation of GATA-3 The Journal of Immunology (2007) doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.178.4.2491 

Kittipong Maneechotesuwan, Xin Yao , Kazuhiro Ito , Elen Jazrawi , Omar S. Usmani, Ian M. Adcock , Peter J. Barnes Suppression of GATA-3 nuclear import and phosphorylation: a novel mechanism of corticosteroid action in allergic disease PLoS Medicine (2009)   doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000076

Now, Journal of Immunology doesn’t give a flying toss about fake data, but PLOS One tried (and failed). A 2018 Correction there addressed Figure 1, ignored Figures 2 and 3 (with Adcock triumphantly stating on PubPeer: “Analysis of the original blots indicates that they are different blots“), and declared:

“The conclusions of the paper are unaffected by this correction.”

The co-author on the above masterpieces, Omar Usmani, is another Imperial College professor of respiratory medicine at NHLI (and most probably another protege of Barnes’). Is this paper trustworthy:


Not likely. And now, the Imperial professors Osmani, Ito, Barnes and of course Adcock, all together again, plus the magic Maneechotesuwan and possibly Ito’s wife Misako:

Omar S. Usmani , Kazuhiro Ito , Kittipong Maneechotesuwan , Misako Ito , Malcolm Johnson , Peter J. Barnes, Ian M. Adcock Glucocorticoid receptor nuclear translocation in airway cells after inhaled combination therapy American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (2005) doi: 10.1164/rccm.200408-1041oc 

And sometimes, Adcock is the only name on a problematic paper which is recognisable. Blame him for this figure, I guess?

Laura C. Price, Dongmin Shao , Chao Meng , Frederic Perros , Benjamin E. Garfield , Jie Zhu , David Montani , Peter Dorfmuller , Marc Humbert , Ian M. Adcock , Stephen J. Wort Dexamethasone induces apoptosis in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cells Respiratory research (2015) doi: 10.1186/s12931-015-0262-y 

Over five years ago, Clare Francis reported the whole Imperial gang of the National Heart and Lung Institute for data manipulation to the journal editors, COPE, and the Imperial College. In January 2018 the sleuth received this reply from the university’s research integrity officer, Mr Jon B Hancock BA (Hons):

“Dear ‘Claire Francis’,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of the multiple emails you sent to the President and Provost of Imperial College in December 2017.

Most of your emails are concerned with papers published by researchers at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) in the period 1999 to 2013.  Although none of your emails contain clear and specific allegations, most imply that the results reported in various papers are suspect, and may be the result of research misconduct.  The ‘allegations’, such as they are, are mainly concerned with possible image manipulation in the papers and/or some degree of overlap of image data between papers.  All of the allegations have been made anonymously by you, using the ‘Claire Francis’ pseudonym.

In common with many universities, and in line with recommended best practice by UKRIO, the College is particularly careful when dealing with complaints that are made anonymously.  If the College is to protect researchers from mischievous and/or malicious complaints, it must be in a position to identify any potential conflicts of interest and assess whether they have a bearing on the bona fides of the complaint.  It can only do so where complaints are made in person and are not made anonymously.  Where a complainant wishes their identity to be kept confidential, the College will endeavour to respect that wish. However, and as the procedures also make clear, where there is a conflict between the need for confidentiality and the need to seek the truth, the latter must prevail.  This is in line with the best practice guidelines published by the UKRIO, which state that:

C3        An initial approach to the Named Person might be anonymous but to take forward allegations the Complainant should make a formal written submission, in confidence if it is so desired, to the Named Person.”

An additional concern with the various allegations you sent to the College in December 2017 is the age of many of the papers.  The most recent papers you mention were published over 4 years ago in 2013.  Most of the concerns you raise relate to papers which are considerably older, and some were published as long ago as 1999, over 18 years ago.  You have not provided any reason why these concerns were not raised with the College before now.

As you may know, the College reserves the right “not to investigate an allegation that is submitted more than a year after the complainant became aware of the substantive incident(s) to which it relates, unless there are good reasons for the delay in reporting the incident“.  Similarly, in reviewing allegations submitted to it, the College may choose not to investigate allegations which are made anonymously if it is not satisfied with the seriousness of the allegations or their credibility.

Although the College would have been well within its rights to reject all of your allegations on the grounds that they are made anonymously and relate to papers that have been in the public domain for a great many years, the College has conducted an initial review of all of your allegations, and has decided that they should now be considered properly under the College’s research misconduct procedures, a copy of which can be found here.  The College is now arranging for a screening investigation of your allegations.

The College’s procedures normally provide for a complainant to be interviewed as part of the screening investigation, and also for the complainant to be sent a copy of the screening report in both its draft and final forms.   However, as your complaints were made anonymously, it is not possible to interview you, and the College also needs to ensure that the investigation and decision processes remain fair to the researchers at the College.  Consequently we will not send you a copy of either the draft or final report, which will remain confidential to the College.  Furthermore, we will not confirm the outcome of the screening investigation to you. 

If you wish to engage with the College’s processes and be informed of the outcome of the College’s investigation, you will need to confirm your identity to the RMRG (in confidence if necessary).  If you choose not to reveal your true identity, the College will not enter into further correspondence with you on its investigations, and will not confirm the final outcome to you.”

That was five years ago. Judging from the publicly observable facts that Adcock, Barnes and the rest are all in their jobs and didn’t have to retract any papers except the one I mentioned at the beginning, it is quite obvious that the investigation found no misconduct anywhere, or maybe was terminated as announced because of

  • a) Clare Francis being anonymous
  • b) papers being older than 2-3 years (or any other random age threshold)
  • c) Barnes and Adcock being white and English, and the Asian others being Barnes’ protegees.

My advice to Clare Francis is to try again when Barnes dies. The Royal Society Fellow with over 1000 peer-reviewed publications is currently aged 76.

Anyway, I had my own experience with Hancock and Imperial and it was just annoying. They really seem to think the world has conspired against their professors, especially the white English ones.

Imperial Piss-Take

“Having reviewed the Conflict of Interest disclosures made by Professor Frost, Professor Holmes and Dr Garcia-Perez, and having also reviewed additional information concerning their company, Melico, […] the College is satisfied that they have no undisclosed or unmanageable conflicts of interests” – Arts Bachelor (Honours)

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.

Whatever the Imperial College investigation decided, or did not decide, surely someone must have asked Adcock to be careful in the future, right?

But this Imperial professor felt so secure he went somewhere where he really shouldn’t have to. To boost his own publication record to match that of Barnes, Adcock recently started a collaboration with Iranians, primarily with Esmaeil Mortaz, associate professor in Teheran, who describes himself:

“I am Esmaeil Mortaz has PhD from Utrecht University in Immunology field, did 1 year fellowship at Imperial London College and has 8 year Post doc experience in Utrecht University , The Netherlands.”

So you see how Adcock and Mortaz met. And now they work together on treating COVID-19:

Fatemeh Kiaee , Hamidreza Jamaati , Heshmat Shahi , Neda Dalil Roofchayee , Mohammad Varahram , Gert Folkerts , Johan Garssen, Ian M. Adcock , Esmaeil Mortaz Immunophenotype and function of circulating myeloid derived suppressor cells in COVID-19 patients Scientific Reports (2022) doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-26943-z 

Those are fake flow cytometry plots. Adcock commented in February 2023:

Many thanks for highlighting this – I will ask Esmaeil Mortaz and Fatemeh Kiaee about the original FACs plots.”

By the way, Mortaz’ former Dutch mentor, the University of Utrecht pharmacology professor Gert Folkerts pushes camel milk as a cure for everything. In Frontiers of course, see Behrouz et al 2022 (all other authors are Iranian):

“Camel milk (CM) has been found to have several health benefits, including antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumor, anti-fungal, antioxidant, hypoglycaemic and anti-cancer activities. In addition, CM can counter signs of aging and may be a useful naturopathic treatment for autoimmune diseases.”

Here is an earlier masterpiece by Adcock, Folkerts, Mortaz and their Iranian friends, more faux cytometry:

Esmaeil Mortaz , Shamila D. Alipoor , Masoud Movassaghi, Mohammad Varahram , Jahangir Ghorbani , Gert Folkerts , Johan Garssen , Ian M. Adcock Water-pipe smoke condensate increases the internalization of Mycobacterium Bovis of type II alveolar epithelial cells (A549) BMC Pulmonary Medicine (2017) doi: 10.1186/s12890-017-0413-7

Actinopolyspora biskrensis: “The flow cytometry results presented in figures 4a and 4c appear unexpectedly similar.”

Adcock replied on PubPeer:

Dr Alipoor has now sent the correct plots for Figure 4. At some point during the many revisions of the paper, one of the plots must have been duplicated. We apologise for this error.

But it’s not a simple duplication. The quantified numbers are different. Nevertheless, it was fixed with a Correction in 2020.

And now Adcock and his newly acquired Iranian friends published this Traditional Persian Medicine joke in Frontiers:

Seyed MohammadReza Hashemian , Esmaeil Mortaz , Navid Shafigh , Shadi Ziaie , Hamidreza Jamaati , Morteza Hasheminik , Mehdi Jamalinik , Raziyeh Erfani , Batoul Khoundabi , Neda K. Dezfuli , Mohammad Varahram , Shahrzad Ahmadi , Mahdi Fahimi , Ian M. Adcock Effectiveness of Borage plus syrup on COVID-19 patients in intensive care units Frontiers in Nutrition (2022) doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.975937 

Borage (Borago off.) is a Mediterranean herb which is eaten in Europe and is popular in folk medicine in Iran. No wonder that Adcock and his Iranian buddies determined that borage is the cure for COVID-19:

“The traditional plant Borage (Borago officinalis L.) is a good source of gamma-linolenic (GLA). We hypothesized that Borage plus syrup (BPS) would be beneficial in severe COVID-19 patients within an intensive care unit (ICU) setting.[…] A pilot single center, randomized trial with no placebo was undertaken. A total of 60 PCR-positive severe COVID-19 participants admitted to ICU from June 2020–December 2020 at Masih Daneshvari Hospital Tehran-Iran gave informed consent. The participants were randomly assigned to either Borage Plus Syrup (BPS, 5 ml for 5 days) (n = 30) or standard care (IFN-β and favipiravir) as a control group (n = 30). […] Our study shows that addition of BPS to the standard treatment regime of COVID-19 patients in ICU improved outcomes and reduced the length of ICU treatment.”

The trial was not preregistered. All patients knew they which treatment arm they were in. All authors are Iranian except the last, Adcock, who for some reason sports the affiliation of “University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia“. This is apparently a kind of clinical science which Imperial College likes to see more of. At least traditional Persian medicine is less likely to kill patients and cause them cancer, compared to what Barnes and Erin experimented with. And if it does harm patients: hey, the victims and the perpetrators are all in Iran!

Image source: Imperial College, Touch Medical Media Services/YouTube

Adcock, once so talkative on PubPeer, didn’t reply to my email. Also the Imperial research integrity officer, Mr Hancock, ended communication long ago. Those Imperials cocks, eh?

By the way, one of the NHLI leaders at Imperial is the cardiology professor Darrel Frances. The cardiologist who a decade ago exposed Bodo Strauer‘s stem cell fraud and who is known for his zero-tolerance for bad science. I will send this article to Francis, see if he can achieve anything.


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29 comments on “Imperial Adcock – from Barnes to Iran!

  1. What China did to a face.


    • Is it going too far to say that Peter Barnes, Kian Fan Chung and Ian Adcock, have a stranglehold on British respiratory research?

      They are at the national institute for lung research, they are 3 prominent professors, sitting on committees which decide where the money goes, deciding people’ s careers directly. It would be funny if it were not so serious. I don’t see a way out. They are still all there, in fact.

      “Science is self- correcting”, pull the other one, it’s got bells on it!


  2. When it comes to Ian Adcock, Kian Fan Chung, and Peter Barnes Imperial College has applied the Ian McNeish defence.

    See comment #5.
    It is a well-entrenched policy. You have to give credit to Imperial College where credit is due. Consistently riding roughshod over scientific conventions in or to make more money. Business leaders will see this behaviour and say: “we want some of that!”


  3. Can you really blame Ian Adcock, Kian Fan Chung and Peter Barnes? Imperial College sets unrealistic money targets so what is person to do? One way of attracting money is to have very many publications. Grant reviewers count the number of publications and believe it is an objective measure.

    Ian Adcock, Kian Fan Chung, and Peter Barnes have taken the path of least resistance/easiest to do, and publish myriads of reviews on Asthma. No doubt asthma is an important disease, but publishing very similar reviews every 2 weeks does not help those with the disease.
    Reviews so have their place, but not when they are so similar.
    Is it any wonder that Ian Adcock, Kian Fan Chung, and Peter Barnes first came to attention on the Dejavu database, and as evidenced by a retraction for self-plagiarism?


  4. John B Hancock, Imperial College’s research integrity officer should take 20 minutes to read and digest this article.



    Under-resourced journals as a reason for the lack of corrections and retractions?

    It is funny that the journals plead poverty without considering the true cause, or at least don’t go record as saying so.

    Elsevier 37% operating profit,

    Springer Nature 23% operating profit.


  6. When the data presented is so nonsensical is not being able to find the original data of even ancient papers a reason not to retract a paper? Does there come a time to say enough is enough? I can’t find the data, or the real data is in another drawer, but I didn’t show you that, is going too far.


  7. Ian Adcock should use Silvia Bulfone-Paus’s excuse. “The editors should have caught us!”
    Better still he should give her a call, she works in the same area of immunology fakery.


  8. You mention the University of Westminster. Here is a paper produced by the very same, problematic data++, but only received a correction.


  9. “Thing is, Chung doesn’t comment on Pubpeer”.

    I wonder what Kian Fan Chung’s excuse for not commenting on Pubpeer, and not replying to Leonid is.

    Kian Fan Chung is Professor of clinical medicine to whom G.P.s ( family doctors ) send patients, who will be mostly, but not all, English speakers. Kian Fan Chung must be fluent in English, also able to read and write quite well. Sometimes when people can’t speak a language very well they hide behind inscrutability, but I find this extremely difficult to believe in Professor Kian Fan Chung’s case.


  10. Hi Leonid. Thanks a lot for this article. You mentioned towards the end that you contacted professor Darrel Frances at Imperial to get his opinion. Has he replied to you yet?
    Also looking at his reaction to Elisabeth Bik’s twitter, it seems to me that he is passive-aggressively mocking her! But then again, given he’s part of NHLI mafia, that’s not very surprising.

    ping back:


  11. Geftinib

    “Professor Ian Adcock awarded Gold Medal by the European Respiratory Society”

    There you go! Apart from Adcock being a White Englishman, he has won a gold medal ! So what he has so much fudged, self-plagiarised or just plain fake data?

    It is essentially a mutual admiration society in the UK. Their buddies give them awards and in case anyone dares to criticise the superior White Englishmen, they point at these awards and tell the whistle-blowers passive-aggressively to get lost! After all, this is the secret to English Science supremacy!



  12. Geftinib

    “Genetic test could guide use of cancer chemotherapy”

    “Researchers from Imperial College London, the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and the Netherlands Cancer Institute, found that the test can predict whether a bowel cancer patient will benefit from chemotherapy. It is thought that this could spare patients who will not benefit from treatment from unnecessary toxicity and debilitating side effects. ”

    This is the link to their paper:

    Nicola Valeri:

    Professor Kristian Helin, Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said, “Treating cancer well is not just about allowing people to live for longer, but also about giving them the best possible quality of life. Although chemotherapy can be very effective for many patients, it can also have debilitating side effects – and so it is important to have as much information as possible about how likely treatment is to work. ”



  13. ” the College would have been well within its rights to reject all your allegations” is a fuck off letter. Money first, money second, money third with Imperial College. Get the fucking money in, fuck the science!


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