Macchiarini may be dismissed from Karolinska; dean of research resigns

Paolo Macchiarini
Paolo Macchiarini

There’s more news to report on the story of surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who’s been dogged by allegations of misconduct.

After the Karolinska Institutet (KI) announced it would not extend his contract and that he needed to “phase out” his research by November, it has now announced it may dismiss him.

In addition, Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, KI’s Dean of Research, has resigned.

Here’s the statement we received from a KI spokesperson:

KI has today informed Macchiarini that the university is considering to dismiss him.

His union has also been informed, and Macchiarini and his union now has one week to demand negotiations with the employer. The final decision in this matter will be taken by the Committee for Staff Direct Responsibility, in a couple of weeks at the earliest.

Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren has today decided to resign from his position as Dean of Research.

Macchiarini became famous years ago for creating tracheas from cadavers and patients’ own stem cells. However, in 2014, four KI surgeons filed a complaint against him — alleging, for instance, he had downplayed the risks of the procedure and not obtained proper consent.

This isn’t the first sign of carnage in the wake of this scandal. Other events we’ve reported: KI’s vice chancellor resigned, as did the secretary general of the Nobel Assembly. KI also recently ordered a new investigation of the misconduct allegations of Macchiarini, following new evidence revealed in a documentary series by Swedish Television.

KI investigated the allegations against Macchiarini, and concluded last year that he acted “without due care,” but was not guilty of misconduct.

For a refresher on the recent events, see our timeline here.

Hat tip: Sten Linnarsson

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4 thoughts on “Macchiarini may be dismissed from Karolinska; dean of research resigns”

    1. He did originally become famous for using tracheae from cadavers colonized by the patient’s stem cells, and it seems to have actually worked. He moved on to plastic later, and none of those patients lived long.

        1. Evidence for which part? All of it is in the Wikipedia article about him, with references given there:

          “In June 2008, Macchiarini conducted the world’s first transplant of a donated trachea colonized with the stem cells of the patient, Claudia Castillo. …
          Castillo was reported to be in good health six years after the surgery.”

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