CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology scientist has 28 papers with manipulated, duplicated images

CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology   | Photo Credit:

With 28 problematic papers, Dr. Chitra Mandal, a SERB Distinguished Fellow at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (CSIR-IICB), Kolkata, has the most number of papers from the institution on the Pubpeer website. Pubpeer website allows independent scientists to publish post-publication review of scientific papers. Three other scientists (Dr. Hemanta K Majumder, Dr. Uday Bandyopadhyay and Dr. Nahid Ali) from CSIR-IICB have one problematic paper each listed on Pubpeer.

Papers of Dr. Mandal's and the other three scientists on Pubpeer have problems with the images —manipulation and/or duplication.

While duplication of images within the papers has been noticed, there is no duplication of images between papers. One paper of Dr. Mandal published in 2009 has already been retracted.

Except in three, she is the corresponding author in the remaining papers, including the retracted paper.

All the problematic papers from CSIR-IICB listed on Pubpeer website were double checked for image problems by Dr. Elisabeth M. Bik, Science consultant at Harbers-Bik LLC, San Francisco, California. Dr. Bik is an expert at identifying manipulated and duplicated images.

Not aware of this website

“I have not seen this website nor do I know anything about it,” Dr. Mandal told The Hindu.

However, according to FAQ posted on the Pubpeer website on whether authors receive alerts when someone comments on their paper, it says: “Yes. Authors are automatically alerted when their paper is commented… We make every effort to alert the authors to any comments and they are encouraged to respond.”

In one of Dr. Mandal’s papers listed on Pubpeer, the first author has responded several times.

“The research has been carried out in different stages of my life in a span of 15 years with the help of hard working, motivated students who are currently in different parts of the world,” Dr. Mandal said in an email to The Hindu.

She added: “I am ready to show all the original data to any reputed scientific body that wants to understand my scientific claim published in the respected journals.”

“Moreover, this matter has already been discussed with the highest scientific body. Such a high-level scientific committee will look at these unintentional human technical errors. I would strongly say that these unintentional minor mistakes do not alter the major scientific outcome and information from these experiments. Subsequently, if suggested by the committee, it will be informed to the respective journals,” Dr. Mandal said.

Area of work and recognition

Dr. Mandal has about 80 select publications in the area of cancer and sialoglycobiology of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa according to her bio posted on the institution website.

She was an Acting Director CSIR-IICB in 2014-15. She had received the Sir J.C. Bose Fellowship by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). She has been elected fellow of The Indian National Science Academy (New Delhi), Indian Academy of Sciences (Bangalore), The National Academy of Sciences (Allahabad), National Academy of Medical Sciences and West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology.

Problematic papers listed on Pubpeer website

1) Mahanine synergistically enhances cytotoxicity of 5-fluorouracil through ROS-mediated activation of PTEN and p53/p73 in colon carcinoma

Ranjita Das, Kaushik Bhattacharya, Sayantani Sarkar, Suman Kumar Samanta, Bikas C. Pal, Chitra Mandal

Apoptosis (2014)

2) Sialoglycosylation of RBC in visceral leishmaniasis leads to enhanced oxidative stress, calpain-induced fragmentation of spectrin and hemolysis

Sajal Samanta, Angana Ghoshal, Kaushik Bhattacharya, Bibhuti Saha, Peter Walden, Chitra Mandal

PLoS ONE (2012)

3) Sialylation of outer membrane porin protein D: a mechanistic basis of antibiotic uptake in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Biswajit Khatua, Jeremy Van Vleet, Biswa Pronab Choudhury, Rama Chaudhry, Chitra Mandal

Molecular & Cellular Proteomics (2014)

4) Sialic acids acquired by Pseudomonas aeruginosa are involved in reduced complement deposition and siglec mediated host-cell recognition

Biswajit Khatua, Angana Ghoshal, Kaushik Bhattacharya, Chitra Mandal, Bibhuti Saha, Paul R. Crocker, Chitra Mandal

FEBS Letters (2010)

5) Down regulation of membrane-bound Neu3 constitutes a new potential marker for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and induces apoptosis suppression of neoplastic cells

Chitra Mandal, Cristina Tringali, Susmita Mondal, Luigi Anastasia, Sarmila Chandra, Bruno Venerando, Chitra Mandal

International Journal of Cancer (2010)

6) Identification and characterization of adsorbed serum sialoglycans on Leishmania donovani promastigotes

Mitali Chatterjee, Anil Kumar Chava, Guido Kohla, Santanu Pal, Anette Merling, Stephan Hinderlich, Ulrike Unger, Peter Strasser, Gerrit J Gerwig, Johannis P Kamerling, Reinhard Vlasak, Paul R Crocker, Roland Schauer, Reinhard Schwartz-Albiez, Chitra Mandal

Glycobiology (2003)

7) Flow-cytometric monitoring of disease-associated expression of 9-O-acetylated sialoglycoproteins in combination with known CD antigens, as an index for MRD in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: a two-year longitudinal follow-up study

Suchandra Chowdhury, Suman Bandyopadhyay, Chitra Mandal, Sarmila Chandra, Chitra Mandal

BMC Cancer (2008)

8) Identification of sialic acids on Leishmania donovani amastigotes

Anil K Chava, Mitali Chatterjee, Gerrit J Gerwig, Johannis P Kamerling, Chitra Mandal

Biological Chemistry (2004)

9) Sialic acids in different Leishmania sp., its correlation with nitric oxide resistance and host responses

Angana Ghoshal, Gerrit J Gerwig, Johannis P Kamerling, Chitra Mandal

Glycobiology (2010)

10) 9-O-acetylated sialic acids differentiating normal haematopoietic precursors from leukemic stem cells with high aldehyde dehydrogenase activity in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

Suchandra Chowdhury, Sarmila Chandra, Chitra Mandal

Glycoconjugate Journal (2014)

11) Elevated mRNA level of hST6Gal I and hST3Gal V positively correlates with the high risk of pediatric acute leukemia

Susmita Mondal, Sarmila Chandra, Chitra Mandal

Leukemia Research (2010)

12) Withanolide D induces apoptosis in leukemia by targeting the activation of neutral sphingomyelinase-ceramide cascade mediated by synergistic activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase

Susmita Mondal, Chandan Mandal, Rajender Sangwan, Sarmila Chandra, Chitra Mandal

Molecular Cancer (2010)

13) 9-O-acetylated sialoglycoproteins are important immunomodulators in Indian visceral leishmaniasis

Angana Ghoshal, Sumi Mukhopadhyay, Bibhuti Saha, Chitra Mandal

Clinical and Vaccine Immunology (2009)

14) Deprivation of L-Arginine Induces Oxidative Stress Mediated Apoptosis in Leishmania donovani Promastigotes: Contribution of the Polyamine Pathway

Abhishek Mandal, Sushmita Das, Saptarshi Roy, Ayan Kumar Ghosh, Abul Hasan Sardar, Sudha Verma, Savita Saini, Ruby Singh, Kumar Abhishek, Ajay Kumar, Chitra Mandal, Pradeep Das

PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2016)

15) A sphingolipid rich lipid fraction isolated from attenuated Leishmania donovani promastigote induces apoptosis in mouse and human melanoma cells in vitro

Jagnyeswar Ratha, Kajal Nayan Majumdar, Sushil Kumar Mandal, Rabindranath Bera, Chinmoy Sarkar, Bidisha Saha, Chitra Mandal, Krishna Das Saha, Ranjan Bhadra

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry (2006)

16) Purification and characterization of 9-O-acetylated sialoglycoproteins from leukemic cells and their potential as immunological tool for monitoring childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Santanu Pal, Shyamasree Ghosh, Chitra Mandal, Guido Kohla, Reinhard Brossmer, Rainer Isecke, Anette Merling, Roland Schauer, Reinhard Schwartz-Albiez, Dilip K Bhattacharya, Chitra Mandal

Glycobiology (2004)

17) Bak compensated for Bax in p53-null cells to release cytochrome c for the initiation of mitochondrial signaling during Withanolide D-induced apoptosis

Susmita Mondal, Kaushik Bhattacharya, Asish Mallick, Rajender Sangwan, Chitra Mandal

PLoS ONE (2012)

18) Apoptotic effects of mahanine on human leukemic cells are mediated through crosstalk between Apo-1/Fas signaling and the Bid protein and via mitochondrial pathways

Kaushik Bhattacharya, Suman K. Samanta, Rakshamani Tripathi, Asish Mallick, Sarmila Chandra, Bikas C. Pal, Chandrima Shaha, Chitra Mandal

Biochemical Pharmacology (2010)

19) Induction of glycosylation in human C-reactive protein under different pathological conditions

Tanusree Das, Asish K Sen, Tore Kempf, Sumit R. Pramanik, Chitra Mandal, Chitra Mandal

Biochemical Journal (2003)

20) l-Arginine Uptake by Cationic Amino Acid Transporter Promotes Intra-Macrophage Survival of Leishmania donovani by Enhancing Arginase-Mediated Polyamine SynthesisAbhishek Mandal, Sushmita Das, Ajay Kumar, Saptarshi Roy, Sudha Verma, Ayan Kumar Ghosh, Ruby Singh, Kumar Abhishek, Savita Saini, Abul Hasan Sardar, Bidyut Purkait, Ashish Kumar, Chitra Mandal, Pradeep Das

Frontiers in Immunology (2017)

21) Porphyrin–Gold Nanomaterial for Efficient Drug Delivery to Cancerous CellsKaushik Bera, Samarpan Maiti, Mritunjoy Maity, Chitra Mandal, Nakul C. Maiti

ACS Omega (2018)

22) mTORC2 regulates hedgehog pathway activity by promoting stability to Gli2 protein and its nuclear translocationSamarpan Maiti, Susmita Mondal, Eswara M Satyavarapu, Chitra Mandal

Cell Death and Disease (2017)

23) Critical stoichiometric ratio of CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+regulatory T cells and CD4+ CD25−responder T cells influence immunosuppression in patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemiaKaushik Bhattacharya, Sarmila Chandra, Chitra Mandal

Immunology (2014)

24) Mahanine, A DNA Minor Groove Binding Agent Exerts Cellular Cytotoxicity with Involvement of C-7-OH and −NH Functional GroupsSuman K. Samanta, Devawati Dutta, Sarita Roy, Kaushik Bhattacharya, Sayantani Sarkar, Anjan K. Dasgupta, Bikas C. Pal, Chhabinath Mandal, Chitra Mandal

Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2013)

25) Mobilization of lymphoblasts from bone marrow to peripheral blood in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia: role of 9-O-acetylated sialoglycoproteinsSuchandra Chowdhury, Chandan Mandal, Sayantani Sarkar, Arup Kumar Bag, Reinhard Vlasak, Sarmila Chandra, Chitra Mandal

Leukemia Research (2012)

26) Unraveling the C-reactive Protein Complement-Cascade in Destruction of Red Blood Cells: Potential Pathological Implications in Plasmodium Falciparum MalariaWaliza Ansar, S.K. Hasan Habib, Samir Roy, Chhabinath Mandal, Chitra Mandal

Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry (2009)

27) Chemotypical variations in Withania somnifera lead to differentially modulated immune response in BALB/c mice

Susheela Kushwaha, Saptarshi Roy, Rita Maity, Asish Mallick, Vishal K. Soni, Prashant K. Singh, Narayan D. Chaurasiya, Rajender S. Sangwan, Shailja Misra-Bhattacharya, Chitra Mandal

Vaccine (2012)

28) Autophagy-independent induction of LC3B through oxidative stress reveals its non-canonical role in anoikis of ovarian cancer cells

Eswara Murali Satyavarapu, Ranjita Das, Chandan Mandal, Asima Mukhopadhyay, Chitra Mandal

Cell Death and Disease (2018)

29) Functional dissection of the C-terminal domain of type II DNA topoisomerase from the kinetoplastid hemoflagellate Leishmania donovaniTanushri Sengupta, Mandira Mukherjee, Chhabinath Mandal, Aditi Das, Hemanta K Majumder

Nucleic Acids Research (2003)

30) Tryptamine-gallic acid hybrid prevents non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug-induced gastropathy: correction of mitochondrial dysfunction and inhibition of apoptosis in gastric mucosal cellsChinmay Pal, Samik Bindu, Sumanta Dey, Athar Alam, Manish Goyal, Mohd. Shameel Iqbal, Souvik Sarkar, Rahul Kumar, Kamal Krishna Halder, Mita Chatterjee Debnath, Susanta Adhikari, Uday Bandyopadhyay

Journal of Biological Chemistry (2012)

31) Apoptosis-like cell death in Leishmania donovani treated with KalsomeTM10, a new liposomal amphotericin BMd. Shadab, Baijayanti Jha, Mohammad Asad, Makaraju Deepthi, Mohd. Kamran, Nahid Ali

PLoS ONE (2017)

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