8 studies by former Beth Israel physician retracted over oversight issues

Eight studies or abstracts led by a former Harvard professor and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center ophthalmologist were retracted by three medical journals over issues with critical oversight approvals for the research, The Boston Globe reported April 3.

Jorge Arroyo, MD, led the research. The retracted studies include research published in Wiley Online Library in June, as well as a study published in March 2021 in Translational Vision Science & Technology, according to the Globe. Also retracted, as initially reported by blog Retraction Watch, were six summaries of clinical trials led by Dr. Arroyo and published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science journals.

Reasoning for the retractions involved conducting one study in a different way from hospital-approved protocol; failing to obtain institutional approval for another study; and for abstracts either failing to secure approvals or adhere to approved procedures, the Globe reported.

According to the University of Rhode Island, federal regulations require that research involving humans be reviewed by an institutional review board.

Dr. Arroyo is no longer on the faculty at Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Previously, he worked as director of retina service at the hospital from January 2004-December 2021, according to his LinkedIn page. The page shows Dr. Arroyo currently works as a vitreoretinal surgeon for Boston Vision.

Dr. Arroyo told the Globe he preferred not to talk about the retractions or the timing of his departure from Beth Israel Deaconess.

"It's a complicated issue, and all I can say is people make mistakes," he told the newspaper, adding later in a statement that the retractions were "part of my cooperation with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center during their review of this matter."

Terri Janos, a hospital spokesperson, told Becker's the hospital is unable to discuss personnel issues but did provide a statement. 

"We are fully committed to upholding the highest research standards and to rigorously maintaining the integrity of our research," the statement said. "Any concerns brought to our attention are thoroughly reviewed in accordance with institutional policies and applicable regulations."

Read the full Globe report here

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