Scientific fraud has been discovered in three papers from Wayne Alexander’s research group at Emory. As first reported on Retraction Watch, two papers in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology and one paper in Circulation Research have been retracted by the journals after being notified by the Emory University Office of Research Compliance following an investigation by the Emory University Investigation Committee.
The retraction statements in the journals are vague but appear to lay blame on Lian Zuo, the first author of two of the papers and the second author of the third. All the authors in the papers list an affiliation with the Division of Cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine, and R. Wayne Alexander is the senior author of all three papers. Alexander is the chairman of the Department of Medicine of Emory University School of Medicine and Emory University Hospital. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Circulation Research, and Circulation and is a main author of Hurst’s The Heart textbook.
The three papers were originally published in 2004 and 2005. An expression of concern about the two ATVB articles was first published in 2008 but the articles were not formally retracted until this year (here and here). The article in Circulation Research was retracted in 2010, but the retraction does not appear on the article’s page on the journal’s website. All three articles have been cited numerous times.
CardioBrief readers may also be interested to learn that Alexander was a co-founder and a director of AtheroGenics, a company that went bankrupt in 2008 following the failure of its lead compound, AGIX-1067 (succinobucol, a derivative of the antioxidant probucol) in the ARISE trial. The company was a product of intense speculation and criticism as a result of its repeated attempts to polish the results of the AGIX-1067 trials.
CardioBrief has requested a comment from Wayne Alexander.