[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 10:25 GMT
South Korea cloning expert fired
Disgraced South Korean cloning expert Hwang Woo-Suk (C) walks to attend at a disciplinary committee of Seoul National University in Seoul, 17 March 2006.
Dr Hwang has admitted mistakes in his research
The disgraced South Korean cloning expert, Hwang Woo-suk, has been fired from his professorship at Seoul National University (SNU).

Dr Hwang and six members of his team were suspended from working at SNU last month pending a disciplinary investigation.

The university concluded in January that Dr Hwang had faked some of his famous stem cell research.

Dr Hwang and the six others also face criminal charges over the scandal.

SCANDAL TIMELINE
Feb 2004 Hwang Woo-suk's team declare they have created 30 cloned human embryos and extracted stem cells
May 2005 Team says it has made stem cell lines from skin cells of 11 people
Nov 2005 Hwang apologises for using eggs from his own researchers
15 Dec 2005 A colleague claims stem cell research was faked
23 Dec 2005 Academic panel finds results of May 2005 research were fabricated
10 Jan 2006 Panel finds 2004 work was also faked
20 March 2006 Hwang and six others sacked from SNU

"The disciplinary committee has decided to fire Hwang and to take punitive action against six other professors," a university spokesman told the French news agency AFP.

Four professors were suspended for up to three months, and two others received a one-month pay cut, AFP reported.

"The professors fundamentally abandoned honesty and sincerity... and caused the fall in the school's honour and the country's international confidence," the university said in a statement.

Dr Hwang's dismissal means he is automatically banned from taking up any government-funded teaching or research for up to five years, the spokesman said.

Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their investigation soon into whether Dr Hwang should also face criminal charges of fraud and embezzlement for the alleged misuse of millions of dollars of funds.

Fabrications

The disgraced scientist caused shockwaves late last year, when he admitted flaws in his research.

He has apologised for the mistakes, but has insisted most of the fabrications were carried out without his knowledge, by collaborators on the project.

A final report from experts at Seoul National University, published in January, said that Dr Hwang had faked his most famous work, the production of a stem cell line taken from cloned embryos.

The panel had previously rejected another of his landmark claims - to have produced individually tailored stem cells.

But it did conclude that Dr Hwang produced the world's first cloned dog, an Afghan hound called Snuppy.




RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific