Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat B. Aggarwal
Alma mater University of Delhi
Banares Hindu University
University of California, Berkeley
Scientific career
Fields Biochemistry
Institutions MD Anderson Cancer Center
Genentech

Bharat B. Aggarwal is an Indian-American biochemist. His research has been in the areas of cytokines, the role of inflammation in cancer, and the anti-cancer effects of spices and herbs, particularly those of curcumin (a chemical constituent of the spice turmeric). He was a professor in the Department of Clinical Immunology, Bioimmunotherapy, and Experimental Therapeutics at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.[1]

In 2012, MD Anderson launched a review of Aggarwal’s research after the federal government notified them of allegations of fraud by academic whistleblowers in as many as 65 of Aggarwal's published papers; the concerns were about data images that had been reused and manipulated to represent different results.[2][3][4] He retired at the end of 2015; his departure was not made public until February 2016.[1][5]

By April 2018, nineteen papers published by Aggarwal had been retracted.[6]

Career[edit]

Aggarwal holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Delhi (1970), a Master of Science degree from Banares Hindu University (1972) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of California, Berkeley (1977), all in biochemistry. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco and was employed as a scientist at Genentech from 1980 to 1989, where his team characterized the cytokines TNF-alpha and TNF-beta. Aggarwal then served as Chief of the Cytokine Research Section, Department of Clinical Immunology, Bioimmunotherapy, Experimental Therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center of the University of Texas in Houston from 1989 to 2015.[7][8] He has published over 500 articles and is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher.[9] As of 2016, he had an h-index of 160 and 94,234 citations to 433 articles.[10]

Aggarwal's research has focused on potential anti-cancer properties of herbs and spices, particularly curcumin, found in the spice turmeric.[7][11] Aggarwal co-founded a company in 2004 called Curry Pharmaceuticals, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., which was seeking to develop drugs based on synthetic analogs of curcumin.[7][12] SignPath Pharma, a company seeking to develop liposomal formulations of curcumin, licensed three patents invented by Aggarwal related to that approach from MD Anderson in 2013.[13]

Scientific misconduct[edit]

In 2012, MD Anderson initiated a review of Aggarwal's research after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Research Integrity notified the institution that academic whistleblowers had found evidence of image manipulation in 65 published papers by Aggarwal.[2][14]

Aggarwal's lawyer proposed legal action against the blog Retraction Watch in 2013 after they wrote about several of his article corrections and retractions.[15] In February 2016, the journal Biochemical Pharmacology retracted seven research articles with Aggarwal as a co-author, him being senior or first author on six of these.[4] The retraction notices stated this was "because the data integrity has become questionable".[3]

In January 2016, an article in The Times of India listed Aggarwal as the founder director of the Anti-inflammation Research Institute in San Diego, California.[16] Retraction Watch noted that the institute does not have a functioning website.[17]

In February 2016 MD Anderson Cancer Center confirmed to Retraction Watch that Aggarwal retired from the institute on December 31, 2015.[5][1]

In June 2016, following an investigation by MD Anderson Cancer Center, the journal Molecular Pharmacology retracted two papers coauthored by Aggarwal, citing “inappropriate” or “unacceptable” image manipulation.[18] By April 2018 19 of Aggarwal's articles, published in 7 research journals, were ultimately retracted by the publishers.[6][3][19][1]

Retracted Articles[edit]

As of April 2018, 19 papers had been retracted.[6][20]

  1. Aggarwal, BB; et al. (1 April 2007). "Curcumin induces the degradation of cyclin E expression through ubiquitin-dependent pathway and up-regulates cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21 and p27 in multiple human tumor cell lines". Biochemical pharmacology. 73 (7): 1024–32. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2006.12.010. PMID 17240359. 
    Retraction in: "Retraction notice to "Curcumin induces the degradation of cyclin E expression through ubiquitin-dependent pathway and up-regulates cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21 and p27 in multiple human tumor cell lines" [Biochem. Pharmacol. 73 (2007) 1024–1032]". Biochemical pharmacology. 102: 147. 15 February 2016. PMID 26985469. 
  2. Tharakan, ST; et al. (15 January 2010). "Curcumin potentiates the antitumor effects of gemcitabine in an orthotopic model of human bladder cancer through suppression of proliferative and angiogenic biomarkers". Biochemical pharmacology. 79 (2): 218–28. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2009.08.007. PMC 3181149Freely accessible. PMID 19682434. 
    Retraction in: "Retraction notice to "Curcumin potentiates the antitumor effects of gemcitabine in an orthotopic model of human bladder cancer through suppression of proliferative and angiogenic biomarkers" [Biochem. Pharmacol. 79 (2010) 218–228]". Biochemical pharmacology. 102: 145. 15 February 2016. PMC 4801035Freely accessible. PMID 26985467. 
  3. Anand, P; et al. (1 February 2010). "Design of curcumin-loaded PLGA nanoparticles formulation with enhanced cellular uptake, and increased bioactivity in vitro and superior bioavailability in vivo". Biochemical pharmacology. 79 (3): 330–8. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2009.09.003. PMC 3181156Freely accessible. PMID 19735646. 
    Retraction in: "Retraction notice to "Design of curcumin-loaded PLGA nanoparticles formulation with enhanced cellular uptake, and increased bioactivity in vitro and superior bioavailability in vivo" [Biochem. Pharmacol. 79 (2010) 330–338]". Biochemical pharmacology. 102: 143. 15 February 2016. PMC 4809038Freely accessible. PMID 26985465. 
  4. Ravindran, J; et al. (1 June 2010). "Thymoquinone poly (lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles exhibit enhanced anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and chemosensitization potential". Biochemical pharmacology. 79 (11): 1640–7. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2010.01.023. PMC 2846982Freely accessible. PMID 20105430. 
    Retraction in: "Retraction notice to "Thymoquinone poly(lactide-co-glycolide) nanoparticles exhibit enhanced anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, and chemosensitization potential" [Biochem. Pharmacol. 79 (2010) 1640–1647]". Biochemical pharmacology. 102: 146. 15 February 2016. PMC 4809052Freely accessible. PMID 26985468. 
  5. Yadav, VR; et al. (1 October 2010). "Cyclodextrin-complexed curcumin exhibits anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative activities superior to those of curcumin through higher cellular uptake". Biochemical pharmacology. 80 (7): 1021–32. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2010.06.022. PMC 2923254Freely accessible. PMID 20599780. 
    Retraction in: "Retraction notice to "Cyclodextrin-complexed curcumin exhibits anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative activities superior to those of curcumin through higher cellular uptake" [Biochem. Pharmacol. 80 (2010) 1021–1032]". Biochemical pharmacology. 102: 142. 15 February 2016. PMC 4801114Freely accessible. PMID 26985464. 
  6. Park, B; et al. (1 November 2011). "Triptolide, histone acetyltransferase inhibitor, suppresses growth and chemosensitizes leukemic cells through inhibition of gene expression regulated by TNF-TNFR1-TRADD-TRAF2-NIK-TAK1-IKK pathway". Biochemical pharmacology. 82 (9): 1134–44. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2011.07.062. PMC 3191321Freely accessible. PMID 21820422. 
    Retraction in: "Retraction notice to "Triptolide, histone acetyltransferase inhibitor, suppresses growth and chemosensitizes leukemic cells through inhibition of gene expression regulated by TNF-TNFR1-TRADD-TRAF2-NIK-TAK1-IKK pathway" [Biochem. Pharmacol. 82 (2011) 1134–1144]". Biochemical pharmacology. 102: 141. 15 February 2016. PMC 4801115Freely accessible. PMID 26985463. 
  7. Anand, P; et al. (15 December 2011). "Suppression of pro-inflammatory and proliferative pathways by diferuloylmethane (curcumin) and its analogues dibenzoylmethane, dibenzoylpropane, and dibenzylideneacetone: role of Michael acceptors and Michael donors". Biochemical pharmacology. 82 (12): 1901–9. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2011.09.001. PMC 3216474Freely accessible. PMID 21924245. 
    Retraction in: "Retraction notice to "Suppression of pro-inflammatory and proliferative pathways by diferuloylmethane (curcumin) and its analogues dibenzoylmethane, dibenzoylpropane, and dibenzylideneacetone: Role of Michael acceptors and Michael donors" [Biochem. Pharmacol. 82 (2011) 1901–1909]". Biochemical pharmacology. 102: 144. 15 February 2016. PMC 4801119Freely accessible. PMID 26985466. 
  8. Anand, P; et al. (15 December 2011). "Suppression of pro-inflammatory and proliferative pathways by diferuloylmethane (curcumin) and its analogues dibenzoylmethane, dibenzoylpropane, and dibenzylideneacetone: role of Michael acceptors and Michael donors". Biochemical pharmacology. 82 (12): 1901–9. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2011.09.001. PMC 3216474Freely accessible. PMID 21924245. 
    Retraction in: "Retraction notice to "Suppression of pro-inflammatory and proliferative pathways by diferuloylmethane (curcumin) and its analogues dibenzoylmethane, dibenzoylpropane, and dibenzylideneacetone: Role of Michael acceptors and Michael donors" [Biochem. Pharmacol. 82 (2011) 1901–1909]". Biochemical pharmacology. 102: 144. 15 February 2016. PMC 4801119Freely accessible. PMID 26985466. 
  9. Yadav, VR; et al. (17 December 2011). "WITHDRAWN: Cardamonin Inhibits Osteoclastogenesis Induced by Tumor Cells Through Interruption of the Signaling Pathway Activated by Receptor Activator of NF-κB Ligand". Cancer Letters. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2011.12.011. PMC 3769506Freely accessible. PMID 22182452. 
  10. Sung, B; et al. (9 April 2010). "Celastrol, a triterpene, enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis through the down-regulation of cell survival proteins and up-regulation of death receptors". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285 (15): 11498–507. doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.090209. PMC 2857028Freely accessible. PMID 20154087. 
    Retraction in: Sung, B; et al. (5 August 2016). "Celastrol, a triterpene, enhances TRAIL-induced apoptosis through the down-regulation of cell survival proteins and up-regulation of death receptors". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291 (32): 16920. doi:10.1074/jbc.A109.090209. PMC 4974403Freely accessible. PMID 27496961. 
  11. Prasad, S; et al. (27 August 2010). "Crotepoxide chemosensitizes tumor cells through inhibition of expression of proliferation, invasion, and angiogenic proteins linked to proinflammatory pathway". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285 (35): 26987–97. doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.121061. PMC 2930698Freely accessible. PMID 20576605. 
    Retraction in: Prasad, S; et al. (5 August 2016). "Crotepoxide chemosensitizes tumor cells through inhibition of expression of proliferation, invasion, and angiogenic proteins linked to proinflammatory pathway". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291 (32): 16921. doi:10.1074/jbc.A110.121061. PMC 4974404Freely accessible. PMID 27496962. 
  12. Sung, B; et al. (12 November 2010). "Gossypol induces death receptor-5 through activation of the ROS-ERK-CHOP pathway and sensitizes colon cancer cells to TRAIL". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285 (46): 35418–27. doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.172767. PMC 2975165Freely accessible. PMID 20837473. 
    Retraction in: Sung, B; et al. (5 August 2016). "Gossypol induces death receptor-5 through activation of ROS-ERK-CHOP pathway and sensitizes colon cancer cells to TRAIL". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291 (32): 16923. doi:10.1074/jbc.A110.172767. PMC 4974406Freely accessible. PMID 27496964. 
  13. Kannappan, R; et al. (22 October 2010). "γ-Tocotrienol but not γ-tocopherol blocks STAT3 cell signaling pathway through induction of protein-tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 and sensitizes tumor cells to chemotherapeutic agents". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285 (43): 33520–8. doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.158378. PMC 2963373Freely accessible. PMID 20720018. 
    Retraction in: Kannappan, R; et al. (5 August 2016). "γ-Tocotrienol but not γ-tocopherol blocks STAT3 cell signaling pathway through induction of protein-tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1 and sensitizes tumor cells to chemotherapeutic agents". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291 (32): 16922. doi:10.1074/jbc.A110.158378. PMC 4974405Freely accessible. PMID 27496963. 
  14. Gupta, SC; et al. (14 January 2011). "Nimbolide sensitizes human colon cancer cells to TRAIL through reactive oxygen species- and ERK-dependent up-regulation of death receptors, p53, and Bax". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286 (2): 1134–46. doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.191379. PMC 3020720Freely accessible. PMID 21078664. 
    Retraction in: Gupta, SC; et al. (5 August 2016). "Nimbolide sensitizes human colon cancer cells to TRAIL through reactive oxygen species- and ERK-dependent up-regulation of death receptors, p53, and Bax". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291 (32): 16925. doi:10.1074/jbc.A110.191379. PMC 4974408Freely accessible. PMID 27496966. 
  15. Prasad, S; et al. (18 February 2011). "Ursolic acid, a pentacyclin triterpene, potentiates TRAIL-induced apoptosis through p53-independent up-regulation of death receptors: evidence for the role of reactive oxygen species and JNK". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286 (7): 5546–57. doi:10.1074/jbc.M110.183699. PMC 3037668Freely accessible. PMID 21156789. 
    Retraction in: Prasad, S; et al. (5 August 2016). "Ursolic acid, a pentacyclin triterpene, potentiates TRAIL-induced apoptosis through p53-independent up-regulation of death receptors. EVIDENCE FOR THE ROLE OF REACTIVE OXYGEN SPECIES AND JNK". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291 (32): 16924. doi:10.1074/jbc.A110.183699. PMC 4974407Freely accessible. PMID 27496965. 
  16. Yadav, VR; et al. (2 January 2012). "3-Formylchromone interacts with cysteine 38 in p65 protein and with cysteine 179 in IκBα kinase, leading to down-regulation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-regulated gene products and sensitization of tumor cells". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 287 (1): 245–56. doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.274613. PMC 3249075Freely accessible. PMID 22065587. 
    Retraction in: Yadav, VR; et al. (5 August 2016). "3-Formylchromone interacts with cysteine 38 in p65 protein and with cysteine 179 in IκBα kinase, leading to down-regulation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-regulated gene products and sensitization of tumor cells". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291 (32): 16926. doi:10.1074/jbc.A111.274613. PMC 4974409Freely accessible. PMID 27496967. 
  17. Takada, Y; et al. (May 2008). "Flavopiridol suppresses tumor necrosis factor-induced activation of activator protein-1, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), p44/p42 MAPK, and Akt, inhibits expression of antiapoptotic gene products, and enhances apoptosis through cytochrome c release and caspase activation in human myeloid cells". Molecular Pharmacology. 73 (5): 1549–57. doi:10.1124/mol.107.041350. PMID 18287248. open access publication – free to read
    Retraction in:"Re: Takada Y, Sethi G, Sung B, and Aggarwal BB (2008) Flavopiridol suppresses tumor necrosis factor-induced activation of activator protein-1, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), p44/p42 MAPK, and Akt, inhibits expression of antiapoptotic gene products, and enhances apoptosis through cytochrome c release and caspase activation in human myeloid cells Mol Pharmacol May 2008 73:1549-1557; doi:10.1124/mol.107.041350". Molecular Pharmacology. 90 (1): 63. July 2016. doi:10.1124/mol.115.041350retraction. PMC 4931863Freely accessible. PMID 27301881. 
  18. Phromnoi, K; et al. (February 2011). "A novel pentamethoxyflavone down-regulates tumor cell survival and proliferative and angiogenic gene products through inhibition of IκB kinase activation and sensitizes tumor cells to apoptosis by cytokines and chemotherapeutic agents". Molecular Pharmacology. 79 (2): 279–89. doi:10.1124/mol.110.067512. PMC 3033709Freely accessible. PMID 20930110. 
    Retraction in: "Re: Phromnoi K, Reuter S, Sung B, Prasad S, Kannappan R, Yadav VR, Chanmahasathien W, Limtrakul P, and Aggarwal BB (2010) A novel pentamethoxyflavone down-regulates tumor cell survival and proliferative and angiogenic gene products through inhibition of IκB kinase activation and sensitizes tumor cells to apoptosis by cytokines and chemotherapeutic agents. Mol Pharmacol 79:279-289; doi:10.1124/mol.110.067512". Molecular Pharmacology. 90 (1): 64. July 2016. doi:10.1124/mol.115.067512retraction. PMC 4931867Freely accessible. PMID 27301882. 
  19. Prasad, S; et al. (2017). "Curcumin-Free Turmeric Exhibits Activity against Human HCT-116 Colon Tumor Xenograft: Comparison with Curcumin and Whole Turmeric". Frontiers in Pharmacology. 8: 871. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00871. PMID 29311914. 
    Retraction in: Frontiers Editorial, Office.; et al. (6 April 2018). "Retraction: Curcumin-Free Turmeric Exhibits Activity against Human HCT-116 Colon Tumor Xenograft: Comparison with Curcumin and Whole Turmeric". Frontiers in Pharmacology. 9: 400. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00400. PMID 29697698. 

Books[edit]

  • Aggarwal, Bharat B.; Yost, Debora (January 4, 2011). Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat Disease. Sterling. ISBN 978-1402776632. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ackerman, Todd (March 4, 2016). "M.D. Anderson scientist, accused of manipulating data, retires". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Ackerman, Todd (February 24, 2012). "M.D. Anderson professor under fraud probe". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Grens, Kerry (February 22, 2016). "Author Nets Seven Retractions". The Scientist. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Nybo, Kristie (February 24, 2016). "Seven Papers Retracted for Lack of Data Integrity". Biotechniques. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Oransky, Ivan. "Journal retracts 7 papers by MD Anderson cancer researcher long under investigation". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  6. ^ a b c "Caught Our Notice: Researcher who once threatened to sue Retraction Watch now up to 19 retractions". Retraction Watch. 10 April 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c Stix, Gary (February 2007). "Spice Healer". Scientific American. 296: 66–9. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0207-66. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  8. ^ Gazella, Karolyn A. (December 2009). "Pioneering Biochemist Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, on Discovering Novel and Effective Cancer Treatments". Natural Medicine Journal. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Highly Cited Researchers". Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  10. ^ Boyack, K. W.; Klavans, R.; Sorensen, A. A.; Ioannidis, J. P. A. (2013). "A list of highly influential biomedical researchers, 1996-2011". European Journal of Clinical Investigation. 43 (12): 1339–1365. doi:10.1111/eci.12171. PMID 24134636. 
  11. ^ Ackerman, Todd (July 11, 2005). "In cancer fight, a spice brings hope to the table". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  12. ^ Singh, Seema (September 7, 2007). "From Exotic Spice to Modern Drug?". Cell. 130 (5): 765–768. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.08.024. PMID 17803897. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  13. ^ Baum, Stephanie (March 26, 2013). "Biotech startup raises $1M for lung cancer treatment using component of tumeric". Med City News. 
  14. ^ "Prominent Indian-American researcher under probe". Deccan Herald. February 25, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2016. 
  15. ^ Heisel, William (April 19, 2013). "Doctor Goes After Retraction Watch, Unleashes Streisand Effect". USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism -- Center for Health Journalism. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Expert backs three spices in diet to keep cancer away". Times of India. January 30, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Author with seven retractions makes Thomson Reuters list of top scientists — plus another twist". Retraction Watch. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  18. ^ Lewis, Tanya (June 22, 2016). "More Retractions for Cancer Researcher". The Scientist. Retrieved October 10, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Seven retractions for prominent cancer researcher brings total to 18". Retraction Watch. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Database". Retraction Watch. Retrieved 30 May 2018. 

External links[edit]