Macchiarini dismissed from Karolinska

Paolo Macchiarini
Paolo Macchiarini

The Karolinska Institutet has dismissed former rising star surgeon Paolo Macchiarini from his post, effective immediately.

A KI news release, dated today, states:

The Staff Disciplinary Board at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to relieve Paolo Macchiarini of his duties as a researcher at KI. He is to be informed immediately that his contract has been rescinded.

For a refresher on the story, check out our constantly updating timeline. As a brief recap:

Macchiarini was once heralded as the first surgeon to transplant a trachea seeded with patient’s own stem cells, but has been dogged by accusations of misconduct in 2014. After KI initially cleared him of misconduct, they reopened an investigation following a documentary and a piece in Vanity Fair alleging additional misdeeds, such as operating on patients in Russia who were not unwell enough to warrant such a risky procedure.

These allegations are listed in today’s release announcing Macchiarini’s dismissal:

Paolo Macchiarini has engaged in conduct and research that is incompatible with a position of employment at KI. His dismissal is based on numerous reasons, including:

PM’s activities at Kuban State Medical University in Krasnodar are in breach of KI’s fundamental values and have damaged KI’s reputation.

PM failed to truthfully and fully report his extra-occupational activities.

PM supplied false or misleading information in the CV he submitted to KI.

Paolo Macchiarini demonstrated scientific negligence, according to KI’s investigation in 2015.

The fallout from this case has led to several high-profile resignations, including the secretary general of the Nobel Assembly, KI’s vice-chancellor, and the dean of research.

Last monht, KI announced that it would not extend Macchiarini’s contract, asking him to phase out his research by November 30.

It’s all been too damaging to the institution, according to a quote from today’s release:

“It’s impossible for KI to have any kind of collaboration with Paolo Macchiarini any longer,” says HR manager Mats Engelbrektson. “He has acted in a way that has had very tragic consequences for the people affected and their families. His conduct has seriously damaged confidence in KI and for research in general.”

Update: Macchiarini tells Nature:

I do not accept any of the findings of the Disciplinary Board. I have instructed lawyers and will be taking immediate steps to restore my reputation.

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3 thoughts on “Macchiarini dismissed from Karolinska”

  1. Following the announcement, Macchiarini told Nature (23 Mar 2016): “I do not accept any of the findings of the Disciplinary Board. I have instructed lawyers and will be taking immediate steps to restore my reputation.”
    It’s not over until the fat lady sings.

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