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Disgraced S.Korean stem cell Hwang scientist fired

Written by: Staff

SEOUL, Mar 20 (Reuters) Seoul National University officially dismissed a disgraced stem cell scientist today for leading a team that deliberately fabricated key data in two papers once hailed as landmark studies, but since debunked.

The decision to dismiss Hwang Woo-suk is somewhat symbolic because the stem cell scientist resigned his post at the university in December when an investigation panel said they suspected the team's work was riddled with fraud.

Prosecutors are investigating Hwang on suspicion of criminal fraud and violating the country's bioethics laws.

With the decision from the university's disciplinary committee, Hwang will have his severance pay cut in half and the government will not be able to hire him for five years, media reported.

In addition, the university said it would suspend or cut the salaries of six other professors who were a part of Hwang's team.

Hwang's research had once raised hopes that it could hasten the day when embryonic stem cells could be transplanted into damaged bodies to repair ailments such as severe spinal cord injuries or Parkinson's disease.

Reuters DKS DB1841

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