WIKIMEDIA, LOTYThe authors of two papers in Molecular Cell have yanked the publications from the record this month (May 8). Shigeaki Kato, formerly of the University of Tokyo, had already stacked up 23 retractions before these latest two, according to the blog Retraction Watch. He and his colleagues are now retracting a 2002 paper and a 2009 paper because of “inappropriate” data manipulation.
Two years ago, an anonymous tipster helped expose the data-tinkering that was going on in Kato’s research group. A university investigation subsequently recommended that more than 40 papers be retracted. “There certainly were irregularities,” Kato told The Asahi Shimbun in 2013. “I used to place trust on the members of my lab. I have a major responsibility as a supervisor.”
The latest retractions involved a study that identified a coactivator complex for nuclear receptor function and another study on the influence of a nuclear receptor on the development of a microRNA. Kato resigned from his university post in 2012.