Scientists Who Faked Embryonic Stem Cell Research Banned From College

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 9, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 9, 2006

Seoul, South Korea ( — Hwang Woo-suk and members of his research team who participated in faking years worth of embryonic stem cell research at government expense have been banned from teaching at Seoul National University, where they were based.

SNU is prohibiting Hwang and six other professors from keeping their teaching posts. Hwang was a professor of veterinary medicine.

The ban comes after SNU dean Chung Un-Chang endorsed a recommendation from its disciplinary committee.

"The dean has approved the committee’s decision as the professors involved cannot carry out their duties properly," South Korea cable news network YTN quoted an unnamed university official as saying Thursday.

The Yonhap news agency says the official announcement will come on Friday.

Hwang had offered to resign in December, but the university did not accept the resignation pending an investigation into his fabricated research.

Yonhap reports the committee will also dish out other punishments in addition to canning the professors from their jobs.

Hwang and his colleagues were hailed as international heroes after they claimed to have cloned human embryos. They also alleged to have created patient-specific embryonic stem cells that could overcome one of the key problems associated with the controversial research — rejection by a patient’s immune system.

Both claims turned out to be false and papers published in the medical journal Science have been revoked.

Government prosecutors are in the middle of an investigation into the embezzlement and misuse of both taxpayer funds and private donations.