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Cell Press

IMAGE: This figure shows issues contributing to suboptimal reproducibility of preclinical research. view more

Credit: Daniel Drucker/Cell Metabolism 2016

Daniel Drucker’s unofficial laboratory slogan is “I’d rather be third and right, than first and wrong.” As a clinician-scientist who has spent 30 years developing new drugs for diabetes, gastrointestinal disease, and obesity, he has seen high-profile journal article after article proclaim the beginning of the end for these diseases, only for the findings to never be discussed again. This isn’t dishonesty or fraud, he says, but the irreproducibility of these amazing discoveries reflects a culture that supports invalidated materials, unreported negative data, and authors overgeneralizing their results.

In an op-ed published September 13 in Cell Metabolism, Drucker, of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto, discusses the chasm between biomedical scientists’ astounding preclinical success and the meager clinical translatability. He also suggests ways that researchers can improve and standardize experiments so that the joy of exciting results can come with a rigorous scientific story. These include:

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