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Hwang: Researcher Disrupted My Work

Posted December. 23, 2005 03:00,   


Professor Hwang Woo-seok of Seoul National University (SNU) officially asked prosecutors yesterday to investigate allegations that his patient-specific stem cells might have been replaced with others.

In the investigation request he submitted to the Seoul Central District Court via his lawyer, Moon Hyung-sik, on that day, Hwang said he faced “a serious disruption in creating patient-specific stem cells through somatic cell nuclear transfers due to artful disturbances by his researcher, Kim Seon-jong, and an unknown person,” urging the prosecution to “launch a direct investigation because the nature and criminal circumstances of the case are very grave.”

Hwang filed a complaint against Kim and others on charges of interference in the execution of his work via fraud, saying, “It is suspected that Kim put the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) embryonic stem cells—already created at the laboratory of MizMedi Hospital—in a container, brought them with him to the laboratory of SNU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and replaced the somatic stem cells there with them.”

Regarding the issue, the SNU Investigation Committee will announce on December 23 its intermediate investigation results on the outcome of the research by Hwang and his researchers. The committee said, “The intermediate announcement will be made on the basis of testimony from key figures, experiment notes, and computer files.”

The committee extracted samples of the stem cells being cultivated by Hwang’s team and requested DNA fingerprint analyses to three external institutions in order to verify whether Hwang’s team actually created the patient-specific stem cells.