by Steven Ertelt
December 11, 2005
Seuol South Korea(LifeNews.com) — Seoul National University and the University of Pittsburgh say they will launch investigations into embryonic stem cell research and cloning efforts of Hwang Woo-suk to make sure none of the results in his studies were fabricated.
The probes follow complaints that Hwang’s team submitted the wrong photos to the medical journal Science to accompany an article on the research results.
SNU convened a meeting of senior officials at Hwang’s request and agreed to conduct an inquiry. Hwang is a veterinary professor at the college.
"We have decided to re-examine the research because Dr. Hwang himself wants it," Roe Jung-hye, chief of research policy office of the university, told reporters after the meeting, according to a Korean Herald news report.
Roe said Hwang asked for the probe after the allegations came forward that he fabricated some of his research. Those questions came to light as Hwang was forced to apologize for lying about two of his female junior researchers donating their eggs for his experiments.
South Korean scientists pressured Hwang to allow the inquiry. His original research claimed to have produced 11 different stem cells tailored to individual patients but critics say the photos just showed similar stem cells repeatedly.
On Thursday, 30 SNU professors demanded that officials conduct an investigation.
Hwang’s team admitted the photos were duplicate in the Science article, but said the research was authentic.
Meanwhile, the University of Pittsburgh is also investigating the team’s research because of the involvement of Gerald Schatten, who resigned from Hwang’s team when the egg donation cover-up came to light.
Hwang is expected to be discharged this week from the SNU hospital after admitting himself saying he suffered from severe stress and stomach ulcer.