September 4th, 2011

Montreal Heart Institute Researcher Fired After Investigation of Retracted Papers

Zhiguo Wang, a researcher at the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI), has been fired less than a month after wide publicity over the retraction of two papers that he had coauthored, Retraction Watch reports. MHI director Jean-Claude Tardif said at a press conference that a hospital investigation had resulted in a recommendation that three more of Wang’s articles be retracted.

Wang, a widely published author of research on the genetics of arrhythmias, had received funding from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Canadian Diabetes Association. He held a faculty appointment at the University of Montreal.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry first posted the retractions in its August 12 issue. Tardif said that the MHI was first informed about the retractions at the end of June, prompting an investigation by an independent expert committee. The committee concluded that Wang “was found to have deviated from MHI’s ethical standards of proper scientific conduct and his responsibilities as a researcher.” Tardif said that Wang’s research privileges and status as researcher had been revoked and that his laboratory had been closed.

At the press conference, Tardif emphasized that Wang was “not a physician. His activities at the MHI consisted in conducting fundamental research studies at the cellular level. Mr. Wang’s research work did not involve patients and was not associated with any drug testing.”

In response to the original August 8 article on Retraction Watch, a number of readers offered additional information and speculation about Wang and the nature and scope of his scientific misconduct.

Here are links to the two withdrawn papers, published in 2007 and 2008:

2 Responses to “Montreal Heart Institute Researcher Fired After Investigation of Retracted Papers”

  1. Stephen Fleet, MD says:

    I believe that purposeful repeated scientific fraud should be treated as a criminal matter. Think of the resources wasted as well as potential harm to patients and society.

  2. Leon Hyman, Ms M.D. says:

    The Montreal Heart institute didn’t get the Wang for the buck that they payed for.

    Competing interests pertaining specifically to this post, comment, or both: