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Hwang resumes research

20 August 2006
Appeared in BioNews 372

Hwang Woo-Suk, the Korean scientist at the centre of the faked cloning scandal last year, has returned to the lab and resumed his research on animals. Hwang, who was sacked from his position at Seoul National University following the scandal, is thought to have secured private funding in order to continue his research.

As Hwang's licence to work with human embryonic cells has been revoked, he will only be able to restart the animal cloning side of his research. Hwang had success as the only person to have successfully cloned a dog - Snuppy - a technically difficult feat. The head of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Suh Nam-Pyo, is supporting Hwang's return. 'It is quite reasonable to give him another chance', he said, adding 'we should not block his comeback forever due to a one-off wrongdoing. I think he won't commit the same mistakes again'.

Hwang is currently involved in a court case after he was indicted in May 2006 accused of embezzling more than $850,000 of state and private funds intended for research. He has admitted in court that he was responsible for junior scientists who falsified data in two landmark papers that claimed to have made cloned human cell lines from patients. If convicted, Hwang faces at least three years in prison. Despite this Hwang commands loyalty amongst his supporters and has taken around thirty researchers with him to the new facility in southern Seoul. The new laboratory is off-limits to the media.

Hwang's lawyer Lee Geon-Haeng commented that Hwang would like to restart the work on human embryos but would have to reapply for a licence. 'Hwang appears to think he can establish patient-specific human embryonic stem cells in six months if he is allowed to take up the stem cell research again without barriers', he said. He added: 'But the problem is that Hwang is no longer authorised to conduct human embryonic stem cell research. Subsequently he has to gain fresh approval'.

Disgraced S.Korean stem cell scientist back in lab
Reuters |  17 August 2006
Hwang Resumes Research
The Korea Times |  17 August 2006
KAIST Head Backs Dr. Hwang's Return
The Korea Times |  18 August 2006
1 September 2009 - by Nishat Hyder 
Disgraced scientist, Hwang Woo-suk found last Monday that he faces a possible four year jail term for alleged embezzlement, and the violation of Korean bioethics law....
3 May 2009 - by Heidi Colleran 
South Korea's Presidential Committee on Bioethics has granted the first human embryonic stem (ES) cell research licence since their preeminent research scientist fell spectacularly from grace amidst allegations of scientific fraud and embezzlement, over three years ago. Cha Medical Center in the South Korean capital, Seoul, has...
4 August 2008 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
The South Korean Health Ministry has rejected a licence application to carry out stem cell research made by the company owned by disgraced stem cell scientist, Hwang Woo-Suk, citing 'ethical problems'. The Suam Biotech Research Foundation had requested approval last December to resume its research on human...
17 April 2007 - by MacKenna Roberts 
The journal Cloning and Stem Cells has announced on its website that it has pulled a scientific research paper from publication, pending the outcome of an investigation into the research data's accuracy. The research was submitted by a team of researchers at Seoul National University (SNU) led...
4 December 2006 - by Heidi Nicholl 
Science, the journal which published fraudulent stem cell research by disgraced Korean scientist Woo Suk Hwang, has announced the results of a committee set up to review the editorial procedures that allowed the work to be published and to advise on how to avoid similar mistakes in...
3 July 2006 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
South Korean stem cell scientist Woo Suk Hwang, currently facing charges of fraud and embezzlement, is set to resume animal cloning research as early as next month. Hwang, who could spend up to 10 years in prison if convicted, is going to set up a new...
18 May 2006 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
South Korean stem cell scientist Woo Suk Hwang has been formally prosecuted on charges of fraud and embezzlement - if convicted he could spend up to 10 years in prison. He was charged with accepting two billion won (about $2.1 million) in private donations based on his...
30 April 2006 - by BioNews 
The World Stem Cell Hub - set up last year at Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea - is the latest victim of the ongoing Korean stem cell and cloning saga. The hub, which was established to create 'a global network' of stem cell lines created in countries across the world...
27 March 2006 - by BioNews 
Seoul National University (SNU) has announced it will dismiss the discredited South Korean scientist Woo Suk Hwang, for his involvement in fabricating data during his work on human embryonic stem (ES) cells. Six other professors and co-authors on two Science papers published by the group - now formally retracted - will not...
12 January 2006 - by BioNews 
The panel investigating the work of South Korean scientist Woo Suk Hwang has reported that further research published by his team was faked. The scientists, based at Seoul National University (SNU), claimed in 2004 that they had created the world's first embryonic stem (ES) cell line from a cloned human...
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