Posts Tagged ‘Kalasalingam University’

Sangiliyandi Gurunathan on his way to another private University in South India

September 5, 2011

Kalasalingam University recently took strong action against a Professor and 6 PhD students for scientific misconduct which included data manipulation and plagiarism. Dr. G Sangliyandi, Senior Professor and Head, Department of Biotechnology, and Dean, International Relations, Kalasalingam University was directed to resign from the University. The 6 PhD students involved had their registrations cancelled.

His name has been removed from the Department of Biotechnology page at the university website but still appeared on the International Relations page last week.

It seems that Dr. Gurunathan has been offered (and is said to have accepted) a position at another private University in Southern India – also at a Department of Bio-technology but it has not been possible to confirm this. 

One reader comments that all the six students involved are still continuing at Kalasalingam University

All the 6 research scholars, whose Ph.D registration has been cancelled are still doing (continuing) their research work in the department itself on the support of Prof. Dr. K. Sundar.

If this is true then it seems that Sangiliyandi Gurunathan is being assigned all the blame for the wrong-doings at his lab and not primarily the students he had initially blamed. Presumably the students have new PhD registrations and stern warnings about maintaining good conduct and about the ethics of plagiarism and image manipulation!

Kalasalingam University takes action against misconduct: head of department and 6 PhD students sacked

August 7, 2011

The Sangiliyandi Gurunathan and Kalasalingam University story was covered by earlier posts here and here.

I have today received replies from the University and from the Society of Scientific Values reporting on the actions already taken. The head of Department – Sangiliyandi Gurunathan – had been instructed to and has resigned. Four students registered for a PhD have had their registrations cancelled. Pending PhD registrations for two further students have also been cancelled.

This is a remarkable, speedy and very commendable response from the Vice Chancellor Dr. S Radhakrishnan. In the Indian context (and perhaps in the context of any University) the speed and decisiveness is unprecedented and it gives me hope for the future of ethical and academic standards at Indian Universities.

Press Release (pdf)  Kalasalingam release 

The replies from Dr. Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor and from Prof. Chopra of the Society of Scientific Values to the mail I had sent to Chopra (copied to Radhakrishnan) follow:

date Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 8:13 AM
subject Re: Action taken by Kalasalingam University

Dear Sir, 
Please refer the attached pdf file  regarding the action taken against Dr. G. Sangliyandi and the research scholars who are found to be involved in scientific misconduct (Image manipulation and the potential of scientific fraud) 
Thanking you for bringing this issue to our notice immediately. 

With Regards 
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan
Kalasalingam University
Krishnankoil – 626 126
Tamilnadu INDIA 

From SSV copied to me

Dear Prof Radhakrishnan:

On behalf of the Society for Scientific Values (SSV), I wish to thank you and congratulate you  on taking a right and an exemplary decision on unethical  practices by your colleague and students. We will post this news on our website as also in our next News&Views.  Very rarely do VCs take such strong and correct action as you have done.
SSV will be very happy to join hands with your faculty colleagues to organise  one day  seminar on Ethical Values for S&T at your University at a mutually convenient date. Please do let me know.
Best wishes
Prof (Dr) K. L. Chopra (Padamshri)
FNA, FASc, FNASc, FNAE, D.Sc.(hc)
(Former Director, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur)
President, Society for Scientific Values

date Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 9:32 PM
subject Wholesale retractions of papers at Kalasalingam University

Dear Professor Chopra,

You will be aware of the wholesale findings of image manipulation in at least 8 papers from the Biotechnology Department of Kalasalingam University. Sangiliyandi Gurunathan is the primary investigator on these papers and the list of retracted papers which bear his name is now getting very long.

There seem to be two issues here: 
  1. the widespread manipulation of images and plagiarism by doctoral  students, and
  2. the lack of leadership and supervision which seems to encourage such   scientific misconduct. 
I draw your attention to:
Retraction Watch – Angiogenesis retracts two papers, cites image manipulation in eight, as PI blames unethical students
ktwop blog – At least 8 more papers from biotechnology department at Kalasalingam University manipulated as 2 are retracted.
I would hope that the Society for Scientific Values could conduct an investigation because something is seriously amiss at this university.
I have also copied this to Dr. S Radhakrisnan, Vice Chancellor since I have corresponded with him earlier (February 2011) about the earlier retraction of Sangiliyandi Gurunathan’s paper. 
best regards

At least 8 more papers from biotechnology department at Kalasalingam University manipulated as 2 are retracted

July 27, 2011

There is something that seems rotten at the biotechnology department at Kalasalingam University. Either there is a tradition of faking images or there is little sense of any kind of ethics. I have posted earlier about retractions of papers where Sangiliyandi Gurunathan, the head of the department, was the supervisor.

Now Retraction Watch reports that

Angiogenesis retracts two papers, cites image manipulation in eight, as PI blames unethical students   

According to the retraction notice for one of the papers, “Gold nanoparticles inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor-induced angiogenesis and vascular permeability via Src dependent pathway in retinal endothelial cells” (we’ve annotated with links and citation data):

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editors as it contains manipulated figures.

In Figs. 3 and 4, paper photomicrographs are supposed to represent images of endothelial cell cultures after scratching the monolayer in order to assess migration of the cells. However, the panels do not represent independent data, but instead contain repetitive cell patterns suggestive of digital manipulation of these figures.

As such, this article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system. The scientific community and the Editors take a very strong view on this matter, and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this problem was not detected during the submission and review process.

It has been found that other articles from the same laboratory also contain manipulated figures. We have listed those articles below.

Pigment epithelium-derived factor inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor-and interleukin-1beta-induced vascular permeability and angiogenesis in retinal endothelial cells. Sheikpranbabu S, Ravinarayanan H, Elayappan B, Jongsun P, Gurunathan S. Vascul Pharmacol. 2010 Jan-Feb;52(1–2):84–94. Epub 2009 Dec 16. [Retraction notice available here.]

Pigment epithelium-derived factor inhibits erythropoietin-induced retinal endothelial cell angiogenesis by suppression of PI3K/Akt pathway. Haribalaganesh R, Sheikpranbabu S, Banumathi E, Gurunathan S. Exp Eye Res. 2010 Jun;90(6):726–33. Epub 2010 Mar 16. [Cited twice, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge]

Isolation and characterization of goat retinal microvascular endothelial cells. Haribalaganesh R, Banumathi E, Sheikpranbabu S, Deepak V, Sirishkumar N, Gurunathan S. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2010 Jun;46(6):529–37. Epub 2010 Mar 7.

High-yielding enzymatic method for isolation and culture of microvascular endothelial cells from bovine retinal blood vessels. Banumathi E, Haribalaganesh R, Babu SS, Kumar NS, Sangiliyandi G. Microvasc Res. 2009 May;77(3):377–81. Epub 2009 Feb 21.

Pigment epithelium-derived factor inhibits advanced glycation end-product-induced angiogenesis and stimulates apoptosis in retinal endothelial cells. Sardarpasha Sheikpranbabu, Ravinarayanan Haribalaganesh, Elayappan Banumathi, Namagiri Sirishkumar, Kyung-Jin Lee, Sangiliyandi Gurunathan. Life Sciences. 2009 November;85(21–22):719–31. Epub 2009 October 8.

Gold nanoparticles inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor-induced angiogenesis and vascular permeability via Src-dependent pathway in retinal endothelial cells. Kalishwaralal K, Sheikpranbabu S, BarathManiKanth S, Haribalaganesh R, Ramkumarpandian S, Gurunathan S. Angiogenesis 2011 Mar;14(1):29–45. Epub 2010 November 9. [This is the same article mentioned in the notice.]

PEDF inhibits VEGF- and EPO-induced angiogenesis in retinal endothelial cells through interruption of PI3K/Akt phosphorylation. Banumathi Elayappan, Haribalaganesh Ravinarayannan, Sheik Pran Babu Sardar Pasha, Kyung-jin Lee and Sangiliyandi Gurunathan. Angiogenesis 2009, Dec 12(4):313–324. Epub 2009 August 6. [A retraction notice is available for this paper, which has been cited seven times.]

PEDF prevents reactive oxygen species generation and retinal endothelial cell damage at high glucose levels. Elayappan Banumathi, Sardarpasha Sheikpranbabu, Ravinarayanan Haribalaganesh, Sangiliyandi Gurunathan. Exp Eye Res. 2010 90(1):89–96. Epub 2009 October 16. [Cited four times.]

At least one of the papers from journals other than Angiogenesis, the 2010 article in Vascular Pharmacology, has already been retracted. But others have yet to be pulled.

The Retraction Notice is damning and Sangiliyandi Gurunathan cannot escape responsibility for the sorry state of affairs at a new and rather young University. Retraction Watch reports that he blames a lack of ethics with his students but his supervision and guidance are sadly lacking. But the Vice Chancellor Dr. S Radhakrishnan cannot escape responsibility either. I had written to him back in February and he had replied that a high level committee was looking into the matter. I was disappointed then that he seemed more concerned about avoiding future complaints rather than addressing the ethics at his University. Prodding is of little value if his own sense of ethics is not engaged to bring about improvements. I have brought the latest retractions and the sorry state of affairs at the University to the notice of the Society for Scientific Values which has the goal of upholding ethics in the Indian Scientific community and which does advise the Government of India.

But there is a bigger issue here than just the lack of supervision and absence of ethics at Kalasalingam University. Education is a highly lucrative and a booming business in India and private universities have little sense of ethics. There are some small signs that ethics and academic excellence are getting a higher priority but the financial results are still pre-eminent and private universities in India have a long way yet to go.

Capitation fees: The stench of corruption in the Indian body academic

Biotechnology Advances retracts 3 papers from India for plagiarism

October 5, 2010

Biotechnology Advances



Update 3: 7th August 2011 Kalasalingam University sacks Sangiliyandi Gurunathan

Update 2: 27th June 2011: Yet another

Sangiliyandi retraction  h/t JV Prasath


Links to the retraction notices have been added – 31st January 2011 and the links have been updated 22nd February 2011.

Biotechnology Advances has retracted 3 papers from India (2 from IIT Kanpur and1 from Kalasalingam University), all at the request of the editors and all for plagiarism.

A matter of some shame for Indian science and especially for the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. It remains to be seen if the Institutions take any action. The plagiarism seems to have been particularly inept since it included blatant copying even from Wikipedia and Encyclopedias.

The 3 retraction notices are given below:

1. Retraction notice to “Microbial production of dihydroxyacetone” [Biotech Adv. 26 (2008) 293–303] by Ruchi Mishra, Seema Rani Jain and Ashok Kumar

Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, 208016-Kanpur, India

Available online 22 August 2010.

Retraction Notice

Reason: This article has been retracted at the request of the editor as the authors have plagiarised part of several papers that had already appeared in several journals. One of the conditions of submission of a paper for publication is that authors declare explicitly that their work is original and has not appeared in a publication elsewhere. Re-use of any data should be appropriately cited. As such this article represents a severe abuse of the scientific publishing system. The scientific community takes a very strong view on this matter and we apologise to the readers of the journal that this was not detected during the submission process.

From a limited, non-exhaustive check of the text, several elements of the text had been plagiarised from the following list of sources:


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