University of Kentucky researcher under investigation after article retraction

University of Kentucky

A high-level University of Kentucky researcher is under investigation by UK’s Office of Research Integrity, officials confirmed.

Xianglin Shi, the William A. Marquard Chair in Cancer Research in the department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology and the director of the UK Center for Research on Environmental Disease, is still employed at UK, said spokesman Jay Blanton.

The investigation began in June 2018.

Shi was the subject of an October story in the publication Retraction Watch, which noted that Shi had retracted three papers from the Journal of Biological Chemistry. The article cited “image duplication” in papers published between 2014 and 2017.

Retraction Watch co-founder Adam Marcus said it appeared that Shi took images from previously conducted experiments and spliced them into images for different studies.

Blanton said UK would not comment on an ongoing investigation.

Shi studies metal toxicity and cancer, and is also the principal investigator on a five-year, $7.4 million grant to research environmental effects on numerous health disparities in Eastern Kentucky. The grant was from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Shi, who makes $307,197 a year, came to UK from West Virginia University, where he was a researcher and earned his Ph.D. in chemistry.

Social justice activist Shaun King addresses students at UK about accusations of plagiarism against him. King spoke at UK on April 21, 2016.