Singapore Dementia Consortium

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The Singapore Dementia Consortium took about S$20 million (about 14.5 million USD) of Singapore's money to do research on dementia and Alzheimer's disease and did not do research on dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Apparently nothing of significance was done with the money. Instead, the responsible professors appear to be engaging in unethical work. To see the evidence and references please download the report.

The Dementia Consortium announced that they received a grant of about S$ 20 million (about 14.5 million USD) in 2018, and then announced that they received the same grant again in 2020. 

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There are 16 professors in the Singapore Dementia Consortium, some are pretty big names in various fields - but not dementia. In addition to not doing research on dementia and Alzheimer's disease with money allocated to this purpose, it appears members of the Singapore Dementia Consortium engage in other unethical research and academic practices. Download the full report here. To understand how the Dementia Consortium engage in misconduct, please see Problematic ethics.

 

Briefly, the Dementia Consortium engage in unethical practices related to:

  • How studies with human participants or using human tissue are conducted or reported.

  • How animal experiments are done, regulated, and reported.

  • Reporting their 'affiliation', or where they are working, and the funding they received.

  • Repeating the same study in more than one publication or 'duplication'.

Listed below are the professors in the Singapore Dementia Consortium:

George J. Augustine

Augustine is head of the Dementia Consortium. Augustine has no research on dementia. He is an editor on the famous Neuroscience book. Augustine was (still is?) at Duke University, Duke-NUS, Max Planck Institutes, and Korea Institute of Science and Technology, and perhaps elsewhere. He is now at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University-Imperial College London, and A*STAR. Augustine attained his doctoral thesis at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, or the University of Maryland, College Park.

As an editor at Frontiers, a scientific journal publisher, Augustine's editorial practice is against publisher guidelines in that he handled articles for authors he was or is affiliated with (in other words, his friends). If the editor has a relationship with the authors, that is not OK because we cannot be sure the editor has been completely objective looking at the science in the article. So the otherwise difficult peer review process, basically running the gauntlet for researchers, is not so difficult if the editor and authors are friends. And it is against Frontiers guidelines.

Augustine's Clomeleon mouse was debunked by other researchers.

In an article published in an LKC magazine, Augustine said, "At times, when I got too far ahead of everybody else, I would hold back." We should be concerned Augustine may stop holding back, click here for the analysis of Augustine's publications and editorial practice at Frontiers with references.

Albert I-Ming Chen

Chen may be at Nanyang Technological University, the University of Warwick, and/or Scintillon Institute (I have no idea what that is, any real information welcome). He's been taking his profile pages off the net and changing things around, I can't be bothered to keep up (contact me for older pages mentioned in the report and since taken offline). Chen has no work on dementia.

Interestingly, Chen was/is a supervisor for Yan Jun Lee, who claimed she got her PhD from NTU but hadn't. Yan Jun Lee published one review article and one preprint with another Dementia Consortium member (Ch'ng), and one very dubious article with yet a third Dementia Consortium member (Mitra). The article, preprint, and review are quite unrelated to each other.

Toh Hean Ch'ng

Ch'ng published the review article and preprint with Yan Jun Lee, Chen's student. Since 2018 and as far as I know, that is all Ch'ng published. One shady review and one preprint. I think the preprint might mention the Dementia Consortium grant as a source of funding. If it is, then that does not seem to be appropriate use of public funds - one preprint in over two years? This output appears somewhat below what NTU would expect from, say, a Research Fellow, let alone a celebrated faculty member.

Gavin Stewart Dawe

Dawe is head of pharmacology at NUS. Looking at the work produced by students he has supervised, it appears he is running a thesis mill. For example, two students of Dawe's apparently apparently duplicated their theses, with some structural modifications, such as putting the study conclusion at the beginning in one thesis, and at the end in the other. As another example, a student of Dawe's, You Wu published complete nonsense with Mitra in 2020 inspired by biological material Wu put in his/her thesis, produced under Dawe's supervision, in 2014. See the report.

Eyleen L.K. Goh

Perhaps Goh was/is affiliated with NTU, Duke-NUS, National Neuroscience Institute, and KK Hospital. In addition to money from Singapore, her publications mention funding from Canada and China. Much of her work appears analogous. Much of her work appears analogous. Goh's work is not about dementia.

Nagaendran Kandiah

If there is a biomedical research institute in Singapore, Kandiah is probably affiliated with it. Kandiah is very generously funded and has been for quite some time. So it is odd that much of his work appears very not novel. Please see the report for details on Kandiah's work. Among Kandiah's claims is that certain drugs are effective treatments for dementia or Alzheimer's disease. One is methylene blue, a very cheap dye made very expensive by a pharma company. Another is ginkgo - yes, the supplement, only fancied up by a pharma company. Sometimes Kandiah tells us in his articles that he's taking money from the pharma companies, sometimes he doesn't. This is not OK, it cannot be downplayed. 

Kah Leong Lim

Lim is at NTU, maybe at NUS, NNI, and Nanjing Tech, China. Some apparently duplicated work on dementia, some apparently duplicated work on other things. Apparently very well funded. In Lim's work, we are sometimes not informed if permission was taken from human participants to use tissue collected from them, nor if animal experiments were approved. Lim claimed to be a co-author in the latest of a seminal series of work in Autophagy - he is not.

Sanjay Khanna

Khanna is on the board that approves animal experiments at NUS or NUHS. That's like a casino auditing its own tax returns.

Camilo Libedinsky

At NUS and A*STAR. Nothing on dementia.

Hiroshi Makino

I think his focus was 'insight in mice'. Nothing on dementia. Actually, not much novel research the past couple of years, as far as I can see. At NTU and maybe University of California San Diego.

Rupshi Mitra

Mitra has published nothing on dementia. She's been saying the same thing over and over again since she came to NTU, about ten years ago? And what she's saying is...umm.....click here for an analysis of Mitra's work.

Sreedharan Sajikumar

At NUS. Some apparently repeated work on dementia. Some apparently repeated work on other things.

Judy Sng

She's probably Judy Chia Ghee Sng or she might be Judy Gek Khim Sng at NUS, the two get confused every now and then. The two get confused because both Judys claim the same article(s), see the report. One Judy Sng does pharmacology and medical pedagogy, the other Judy Sng does medical pedagogy. As far as I can tell, neither Judy Sng has published anything on dementia.

Ayumu Tashiro

Previously with Moser and Moser of the Nobel prize. I think he does science, not sure why he's here, or why he thinks it's OK to keep quiet and watch this going down. At NTU, and maybe the University of Warwick.

Ajai Vyas

Mitra's spouse and also at Nanyang Technological University. Augustine's right-hand man. Vyas has no work on dementia, though he claimed in an NTU magazine that he "...can recreate the symptoms in wide-awake, behaving animals...", we have yet to see anything in that regard. Click here for an analysis of Vyas' work since he came to NTU.

Shih-Cheng Yen

At NUS with no work on dementia and much attendance of conferences.