Tuesday, January 30, 2007

MSU Clears Cibelli of Misconduct

Stem cell scientist Jose Cibelli, a member of one of the working groups of the California stem cell agency, has been cleared of misconduct by Michigan State University but it is not known whether he will return to his advisory work with CIRM.

Cibelli asked for the MSU investigation as a result of his connection with the Korean stem cell scandal. He was the co-author of the fraudulent March 2004 paper that reported the first-ever closed human stem-cell line.

A letter signed by the university intellectual integrity officer was provided by Michigan State University to the California Stem Cell Report. The letter said in part:
"The excerpts below summarize the findings of the IC(investigative committee):

'After considering all the testimony and evidence available to it, the IC finds that the Respondent did not commit Misconduct.'

"The report further states:

'His support for, and participation in, the 2004 manuscript were motivated by his natural enthusiasm for NT cloning and human ES cell research, his hopes that the field will progress and his well-meaning desire to participate appropriately in that overall effort.'"
Dale Carlson, spokesman for CIRM, told the California Stem Cell Report:
"Cibelli was an enthusiastic, valuable member of the group and we'd like very much to see him back."
Carlson added that further information would have to wait until CIRM President Zach Hall returns from a trip to Singapore.

Cibelli voluntarily withdrew from active participation in the standards working group after the Korean scandal erupted.

Below is the full text of the MSU letter concerning Cibelli. We have asked the university for a complete copy of the report that is referred to in the letter.

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