Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Karolinska won’t extend star surgeon Macchiarini’s contract

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dr-paolo-macchiarini

Paolo Macchiarini

Karolinska Institutet announced today it would not extend the contract of star surgeon Paolo Macchiarini. He has been instructed to “phase out” his research from now until November 30.

According to a press release issued today:

Karolinska Institutet’s Vice-Chancellor has decided today that researcher Paolo Macchiarini’s employment will not be extended when his current contract expires.

The head of Macchiarini’s department has been instructed by the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that, until 30 November 2016, Macchiarini uses his working hours to phase out the research he has conducted at Karolinska Institutet. The head of department is also responsible for ensuring that the work of his research group is dismantled.

The name Paolo Macchiarini should be very familiar at this point.

He is famous for performing a breakthrough surgery, creating tracheas from cadavers and patients’ own stem cells. However, the glow of his success was diminished somewhat after some Karolinska surgeons filed a complaint — alleging, for instance, Macchiarini had downplayed the risks of the procedure and not obtained proper consent.

Last week, KI announced it may reopen its previous misconduct inquiry. To recap: After an external review concluded that Macchiarini had committed misconduct in seven papers, KI’s vice-chancellor, Anders Hamsten, concluded that Macchiarini acted in some cases “without due care,” but that his behavior “does not qualify as scientific misconduct.”

KI announced it may reopen the case, however, after a series of recent documentaries aired in Sweden raised a number of new allegations, such as suggesting Macchiarini operated on patients in Russia whose conditions were not life-threatening enough to warrant such a risky procedure.

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Written by Alison McCook

February 4th, 2016 at 11:35 am

Comments
  • Lynn Van Vleet February 5, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    This not a post, but an inquiry. Do they have statistics for patient success ( or not ) rate?

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