Former NIH lab director faked findings in three papers: ORI

ori logoThe former director  of the X-ray crystallography lab at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, faked findings in three papers, according to the Office of Research Integrity.

Two of the three papers by Bijan Ahvazi were published in 2004, and later retracted in 2007, while the other was rejected:

Ahvazi faked five images in the papers, according to the ORI. For example, in “Crystal structure of transglutaminase 3 in complex with BMP: Structural basis for nucleotide specificity,” he:

Falsely labeled Figure 3A in JBC 2004b representing an isothermal calorimetric titration (ITC) experiment using guanine monophosphate (GMP) and transglutaminase 3 (TGase 3) when the figure was actually a relabeled version of an unrelated experiment that Respondent previously published as Figure 1A in JBC 2004a [the other withdrawn JBC paper].

And he:

Falsified Figure 4B in JBC 2004b, by adding multiple data points to titration curves for four different concentrations of TGase 3 bound by different concentrations of tagged GTPγS and deleting two (2) outlying data points from one of the curves

PubPeer has three entries for papers by Ahvazi, including the two retracted papers and one from the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. The two retracted JBC papers are dedicated to co-author Peter Steinert, who died in 2003.

Ahvazi has agreed to have any of his federally-funded research supervised for two years, and not to serve on NIH peer review committees for the same length of time.

PubPeer Selections: On an “immodest title;” authors recalculate findings in response to questions

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