University of Minnesota retracts pioneering studies on stem cells, Alzheimer’s disease

Jeremy Olson

Years after questions were raised about their integrity, two of the University of Minnesota’s highest-profile scientific discoveries have been retracted in one week — one that offered hope over the therapeutic potential of stem cells and another that offered a promising path toward treating Alzheimer’s disease.

The studies are more than a decade old and in some respects superseded by other discoveries in their fields. But the retractions of the Alzheimer’s paper on Monday and the stem cell paper on June 17 are setbacks for an institution that has been fighting to move up the U.S. rankings in academic reputation and federal research dollars.

Both studies were published in the prestigious journal Nature and collectively have been cited nearly 7,000 times in other papers, studies and articles. Researchers worldwide were using these papers to support their work years after they had been disputed.