Posts Tagged ‘Agency for Science Technology and Research’

Academic Pandora’s box in Singapore well and truly open as more allegations of misconduct surface

October 20, 2011

Skeletons seem to be tumbling out of the Singapore academic closet thick and fast as one allegation follows hot on the heels of the last. Previous revelations are here, and here.

1. Abnormal Science reports that another whistleblower has appeared and has pointed out image irregularities (image manipulations?) in two more publications, both from  the Department of Pharmacology, National University of Singapore. Abnormal Science.

2. From the Straits Times (h/t as pointed out by an Abnormal Science reader) it is reported that a famous cancer scientist in Singapore is having his work challenged. If Prof. Yoshiaki Ito’s work is found to be flawed then some 200 other publications based on his results would be thrown into doubt.

The Times article is behind a pay wall but Asia News Net  carries the article (more…)

Further shenanigans at Singapore’s Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*)

October 15, 2011

Singapore was recently rocked by the Melendez affair where a much vaunted scientist was found to have manipulated data and 70 of his scientific papers are now under investigation. An excellent summary of the situation is here at Retraction Watch. Alirio Melendez who is currently employed by the University of Liverpool has been suspended pending the results of the investigation. In the strait-laced Singapore society which is utterly convinced about its own excellence in all things, this has come as a rude shock and shattered the complacent view of the academic world that “misconduct does not happen here”. There is now some concern that the reputation of the academic world in Singapore may be seriously tarnished.

But the misconduct may be rather more widespread than they would like to think. The “rotten” core was revealed by an “anonymous whistleblower” but it may be just the opening of the lid of a Pandora’s box.

Joerg Zwirner, an immunologist and associate professor at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen reports further cases of misconduct at Abnormal Science. He reports – courtesy of the whistleblower again – on 3 further papers where image manipulation is apparent. This time the common author is Kong-Peng Lam, of  the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Immunology, Biomedical Sciences Institutes, Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

Singapore and scientific misconduct: No end in sight

The three papers where image manipulation is apparent are:

1. Ng CH, Xu S, Lam KP.
Dok-3 plays a nonredundant role in negative regulation of B-cell activation.
Blood. 2007; 110: 259-66.

2. Tan JE, Wong SC, Gan SK, Xu S, Lam KP.
The adaptor protein BLNK is required for b cell antigen receptor-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappa B and cell cycle entry and survival of B lymphocytes.
J Biol Chem. 2001; 276:20055-63.

3. Wong SC, Chew WK, Tan JE, Melendez AJ, Francis F, Lam KP.
Peritoneal CD5+ B-1 cells have signaling properties similar to tolerant B cells.
J Biol Chem. 2002; 277: 30707-15.

Prof. KP Lam’s profile at A* is here. He has Minnesota, Columbia and Stanford behind him and a long list of publications in major journals.

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