News regarding the Macchiarini case
9 November 2017. The Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) has today levelled serious criticism at Karolinska Institutet in a supervisory decision delivered to the Board of Karolinska Institutet, regarding issues relating to Paolo Macchiarini’s activities at KI during the period 2013-2016. UKÄ has reviewed a number of issues that fall within the Authority’s remit.
30 October 2017. The Central Ethical Review Board’s Expert Group for Misconduct in Research has now submitted its opinion to Karolinska Institutet regarding six articles of which Paolo Macchiarini is the main author. In June 2016, Karolinska Institutet requested that CEPN express its opinion in order to investigate suspected misconduct in research. The authors of the articles will now also be invited to give their opinions before the vice-chancellor of Karolinska Institutet reaches a decision on the matter. At the present time, it is not possible to state the date on which this decision will be made.
The prosecutor decided on Thursday 12 October 2017 to terminate the preliminary investigation into Paolo Macchiarini concerning the transplantation of artificial tracheae and other operations performed at Karolinska University Hospital, where he had been employed as a surgeon.
Timeline. Misrecruitment, scientific fraud and failing implants that should never have been implanted in patients – serious allegations have been levelled for a long time against Paolo Macchiarini and KI’s conduct in connection with his activities.
Overview. Following the relevations concerning the researcher and surgeon Paolo Macchiarini's actions, a number of investigations and other measures have been initiated at Karolinska Institutet, as well as at the Karolinska University Hospital and other public authorities.
Announcement. Karolinska Institutet’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Karin Dahlman-Wright has announced her decision that researcher Karl-Henrik Grinnemo did not act carelessly when making a grant application to the Swedish Research Council, overturning KI’s previous decision on he matter.
Following the KI decision. On 21 March 2017 Nature Communications retracted the paper “Experimental orthotopic transplantation of a tissue-engineered oesophagus in rats” by Sjöqvist S, et al, due to concerns regarding the integrity of the study.
Died at an American hospital. Acting vice-chancellor of Karolinska Institutet Karin Dahlman-Wright, comments on the death of a patient who had been given a synthetic trachea by Paolo Macchiarini at Karolinska University Hospital.
Decision. Karolinska Institutet has announced its decision on one of several cases of alleged scientific misconduct associated with Paolo Macchiarini. The decision, in brief, means that the lead author and three co-authors of the article have been found guilty of scientific misconduct. For two of the authors, who are more junior, there are mitigating circumstances.
Resigns. Urban Lendahl, Professor of Genetics at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at Karolinska Institutet has elected to resign from the Nobel Assembly, citing his actions in the Macchiarini case as the reason.
After the investigations. The government commissioned a nomination committee on 15 September to draw up a list of proposed candidates for the new chairperson and three new members of the Karolinska Institutet University Board (Konsistoriet).
After the Heckscher inquiry: Earlier this autumn, the Karolinska Institutet board (konsistoriet) asked Karin Dahlman-Wright to draft an action plan in response to the recommendations made by Heckscher’s independent inquiry into KI’s handling of the Macchiarini case.
New pronouncement. A statement issued by the expert group for misconduct at the Central Ethical Review Board (CEPN) finds Paolo Macchiarini guilty of scientific misconduct.
Is to centre on Heckscher’s report. The Karolinska Institutet board has tasked the vice-chancellor with drafting a plan of action for how the university will remedy the serious failings identified within the Heckscher report.
A presentation to KI staff. Here is an account of lawyer and principal investigator Sten Heckscher’s presentation to KI staff of his report: “Karolinska Institutet and the Macchiarini case”.
The external investigation presented
“It’s imperative addressing these issues”, said investigator Sten Heckscher as he presented the nearly 200-page report on 5 September. UPDATE: A summary of Heckscher's recommendations to KI based on his critic.
Report criticises KI on several counts. Recruitment of Macchiarini and the extension of his contract were pushed through improperly. KI cannot be completely absolved of responsibility for the synthetic trachea transplantations performed at Karolinska University Hospital.
KI commentary at today's press conference. “This is a case in which a long chain of poor and absent decisions enabled a visiting professor to contravene the rules and ethical principles that apply to KI’s activities“, says Acting Vice-Chancellor Karin Dahlman-Wright.
4 September 2016. A survey conducted by TNS Sifo shows that Karolinska Institutet’s reputation has plummeted from 85 to 59 on a scale of 0 to 100. The reason is the Macchiarini scandal.
31 August 2016. Professor Emeritus Kjell Asplund presented on 31 August his external, independent investigation of Paolo Macchiarini’s transplantations of synthetic tracheae at Karolinska University Hospital between 2011 and 2013. The inquiry is heavily critical not only of the hospital, but also of Karolinska Institutet.
Commentary: “We take Karolinska Institutet researchers’ involvement in this matter very seriously and deeply regret the unnecessary suffering caused to the patients,” says Acting Vice-Chancellor Karin Dahlman-Wright.
Read more on sll.se: Investigation of the synthetic trachea transplantations at Karolinska University Hospital.
4 May 2016. Wednesday 4 May, the former KI researcher and surgeon Paolo Macchiarini is interviewed in The Swedish Medical Association news magazine Läkartidningen and Swedish Television. In the interview in Läkartidningen, Paolo Macchiarini expresses that KI's decision to discharge him was ill-founded and further claims that KI's actions were media-driven. KI does not share this view.
4 April 2016. The government has now received proposals for the members of the KI University Board (konsistoriet) whom it is to appoint. The proposals were submitted by the nomination committee, comprising County Governor Christ Heister, former University Chancellor Lars Haikola and a student representative.
23 April 2016. The Staff Disciplinary Board at KI 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.
5 March 2016. Recent events have accentuated that there is a need to clarify and revitalise work with research ethics at KI.
3 March 2016. The government has announced its decision today, 3 March, to task a nomination committee with submitting proposals for new members of the Karolinska Institutet University Board.
28 February 2016. On Monday 22 February, KI's Professors' Colegium met to discuss how the Collegium can contribute to restoring trust in KI. Interview with Professor Nancy Pedersen, one of the arrangers of this meeting.
23 February 2016. Professor Jan Carlstedt-Duke resigned as advisor to the vice-chancellor last Monday in order to take up other duties at the university.
23 February 2016. Dean Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren has requested to step down from his position as Dean of Research. Acting Vice-Chancellor Karin Dahlman-Wright comments on his decision.
On 18 February, the government decided to appoint Karin Dahlman-Wright as Acting Vice-Chancellor at Karolinska Institutet. Karin Dahlman-Wright was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor on 1 January 2016 and has been Professor of Molecular Endocrinology since 2009.
At a meeting on 17 February, the KI University Board decided to issue a request to the government regarding the promotion of Karin Dahlman-Wright as the stand-in vice-chancellor for Karolinska Institutet following the resignation of Anders Hamsten. The University Board also decided to start the recruitment process for a new ordinary vice-chancellor.
Investigation into scientific misconduct re-opens. Professor Anders Hamsten steps down from his assignment as Vice-Chancellor of Karolinska Institutet. He declares his resignation in a debate article in the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter. At the same time Karolinska Instutet’s investigation into scientific misconduct by Paolo Macchiarini will be re-opened.
Karolinska Institutet faces storm of criticism following documentary series on Paolo Macchiarini
KI researcher and surgeon Paolo Macchiarini’s exoneration from scientific misconduct charges, and the SVT documentary series, “Experimenten” (”The Experiments”), have together unleashed a storm of criticism against Karolinska Institutet. At an extraordinary meeting held on 4 February, Karolinska Institutet’s highest decision-making body, the University Board (Konsistoriet), decided to launch an external investigation of the Macchiarini case.
4 February 2016. The external inquiry will look into events that have taken place at Karolinska Institutet from the time surgeon Paolo Macchiarini was recruited as visiting professor in 2010 to the present.
9 February 2016. The external investigator is former president and justice of the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden, Sten Heckscher, who will be assisted by author Ingrid Carlberg and professor of biochemistry at Helsinki University, Carl Gahmberg.
4 February 2016. The University Board also announced on 4 February that it retains full confidence in Vice-Chancellor Anders Hamsten, and that he should remain in office for the duration of the investigation.
4 February 2016. Paolo Macchiarini’s temporary contract with Karolinska Institutet, which expires on 30 November 2016, will not be extended. In the interim, his research at Karolinska Institutet will be phased out and his research group dismantled. The announcement was made on 4 February following a decision by Vice-Chancellor Anders Hamsten.
Report: Paolo Macchiarini supplied false details in the CV he submitted ahead of his recruitment as visiting professor at KI. This is the conclusion drawn by Karolinska Institutet after looking into claims made in an article published by the US magazine Vanity Fair that Macchiarini had been untruthful in his CV.
8 January 2016. When the Vanity Fair article was published on 5 January, Karolinska Institutet responded that it would investigate the claims “expeditiously”.
28 January 2016. In its documentary series “Experimenten”, Swedish Television (SVT) investigated Karolinska Institutet Visiting Professor Paolo Macchiarini. In commenting on the documentaries, Vice-Chancellor Anders Hamsten stated that details had emerged that were unknown to Karolinska Institutet’s management.
Clarification of responsibilities in connection with transplantations of synthetic trachea in Sweden and Russia
29 January 2016. Following the SVT documentary series, Karolinska Institutet published a statement clarifying the respective responsibilities of the university and the university hospital regarding the activities of the investigated researcher, Paolo Macchiarini.
28 August 2015. On 28 August 2015, Karolinska Institutet acquitted visiting professor and surgeon Paolo Macchiarini from suspicions of scientific misconduct. The complaints against Paolo Macchiarini had been lodged in June, August and September 2014 by four doctors employed at Karolinska University Hospital. Karolinska Institutet arrived at a different conclusion, and stated that he is merely guilty of carelessness.
28 August 2015. Following the decision to acquit Paolo Macchiarini from accusations of scientific misconduct, Vice-Chancellor Anders Hamsten stated that the main issues raised and criticised by both the complainants and Bengt Gerdin, upon which the suspicions of scientific misconduct were based, have been satisfactorily refuted by Paolo Macchiarini and his co-authors.
28 August 2015. While the investigation into the allegations of scientific misconduct is underway, Karolinska Institutet announced that more inquiries are being conducted in response to other complaints against Paolo Macchiarini’s tracheal operations.
26 June 2015. On 26 June 2015, Karolinska Institutet announced that it had received 31 statements of opinion, making up some 1,000 pages of text, that along with the statement issued by external investigator Bengt Gerdin, will form part of the documentation to be examined in the case of alleged scientific misconduct concerning Paolo Macchiarini.
Comments on the Swedish Research Council’s decision to withdraw its grant to researcher suspected of misconduct
22 June 2015. While Karolinska Institutet’s investigation into the complaints of scientific misconduct has yet to be concluded, the Swedish Research Council announced that it is stopping its grants to ACTREM, a research centre for regenerative medicine at Karolinska Institutet. Karolinska Institutet commented on its decision.
14 April 2015. In April, the vice-chancellor of Karolinska Institutet announced his decision on another case concerning allegations of scientific misconduct against Paolo Macchiarini. The vice-chancellor acquitted Paolo Macchiarini of the charges against him.
20 December 2016. Decision. Suspicion of research misconduct, 20 Dec 2016, Nature Communications_723-2016
5 September 2016. External investigation. Karolinska Institutet and the Macchiarini case_Summary in English and Swedish
28 January 2016. Examination of CV information
28 August 2015. Desicion 1 regarding suspected scientific misconduct
28 August 2015. Decision 2 regarding suspected scientific misconduct