Doctor lies about performing transplants

Doctor lies about performing transplants

NEW YORK - Hisashi Moriguchi, who falsely announced that he transplanted cardiac muscle cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells to heart disease patients, has admitted five of the six transplants he claimed to have performed were lies.

Moriguchi previously said he performed the six transplants between Feb 14 and late September.

During a New York press conference Saturday morning, however, he admitted five of them were false, saying the operations are "scheduled for the future."

He apologised, saying, "I am responsible [for causing trouble] and I am very sorry for that."

The remaining transplant--which he previously claimed to have performed in February this year--was performed in June last year, he said.

He previously stated the transplant was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, which is affiliated with Harvard University, but retracted this statement Saturday.

"I got the approval of the institutional review board of the hospital, but the operation itself was performed at another hospital in Boston," Moriguchi said.

However, the hospital said it gave no such approval.

Govt to probe research project

Govt to probe research project

The Cabinet Office has decided to investigate a government-assisted research project in which Moriguchi has been involved.

The Cabinet Office picked the project as part of the Funding Program for Next Generation World-Leading Researchers of the office.

The project has been headed by a University of Tokyo researcher. Moriguchi has been involved in the development of cell cryopreservation technology, among other tasks.

The project received subsidies of about 164 million yen from fiscal 2010 through 2013.

According to the university's public relations section, Moriguchi, 48, was employed as a specially appointed researcher on a full-time basis in March 2010 for the project.

More than 450,000 yen per month has been paid to Moriguchi as a stipend from subsidies of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science's Leading-edge Research Promotion Fund.

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