Shane Mayack, a former postdoctoral researcher at the Joslin Diabetes Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts engaged in research misconduct by duplicating figures in a pair of publications and poaching figures from other sources according to the US Office of Research Integrity (ORI), which investigates fraud in federally funded research.
The misconduct decision, noted yesterday in the Federal Register concludes an investigation into the scientist’s work, which included two papers that were retracted during the past two years, one from this journal.
Mayack “neither admits nor denies ORI’s finding of research misconduct,” according to the note in the Federal Register. But she had previously argued in a post on the blog Retraction Watch that her publication in Nature was retracted hastily and without her consultation. Mayack has agreed to sanctions from the ORI that include close supervision for any work she might perform with federal funding in the next three years.
Amy Wagers, Mayack’s co-author and mentor has been a rising star in the stem cell field for her research on blood precursors. In August of 2010, she approached Nature editors with concerns about her group’s paper showing that age-related changes in adult mouse stem cells can be reversed by exposure to blood from young mice.2 The paper was retracted on 14 October and the following day, the journal Blood issued a notice of concern about a paper by Wagers and Mayack. A comparison of the two papers by Nature reporters revealed that experimental data from the earlier Blood paper had been relabelled and reused to represent different experimental results in the Nature paper. Wagers was lauded by for quickly retracting the papers soon after problems were noted.