A 2002 PNAS paper has been retracted by its authors, including senior author Pascal Goldschmidt, a prominent cardiologist and Dean of the University of Miami School of Medicine. News of the retraction was reported by Retraction Watch on Tuesday.
The paper, “Deficient Smad7 expression: A putative molecular defect in scleroderma,”has been cited 198 times, Retraction Watch reported.
Here is the text of the retraction note:
The authors wish to note the following: “It has recently been brought to our attention that some of the elements in Fig. 3 of our paper may have been fabricated. Unfortunately, because of the time elapsed since publication, we no longer have in our possession the original gels and blots that were used to produce the figure. While we trust that the other data in the paper is genuine and the overall conclusions sound, we have no alternative but to request a retraction of our paper. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”
Concerns about the paper emerged last November, in a submission to PubPeer reporting “apparent duplication + rotation of bands in Fig. 3A.” In December Goldschmidt and the first author of the paper responded:
The first and senior authors of the paper have reviewed your detailed analysis.
We appreciated your efforts and we are very concerned with the findings. The data for this paper was generated between 13 and 16 years ago, and we are trying to find the original data used to produce the figure in question, and also who amongst the authors was responsible for producing the data and the resulting figure. We will follow up as soon as we possibly can. Pascal J Goldschmidt-Clermont and Chunming Dong
Goldschmidt and Dong were at Duke University at the time of the paper’s publication.
This may not be the end of the story for Goldschmidt and co-authors. Retraction Watch pointed out:
On PubPeer, there is a question about an image in another paper by Goldschmidt-Clermont and Dong, on which Shoukang Zhu, also now at the University of Miami, is also a co-author.