This page in Swedish

News regarding the Macchiarini case


Karolinska Institutet comments on the UKÄ decision on 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.

Regarding CEPN’s opinion on suspected misconduct in research

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.

Preliminary investigation closed

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.

The Macchiarini case: The story so far

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.

Investigations and other measures related to the Macchiarini case

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.

Previous news

New decision: researcher was not careless

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.

Retraction of article on tissue-engineered oesophagus

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.

Comment following the death of a patient who received a synthetic trachea

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.

KI finds Paolo Macchiarini and three co-authors guilty of scientific misconduct

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.

Urban Lendahl resigns from the Nobel Assembly 

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.

Government to appoint new members of Karolinska Institutet board

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).

Karolinska Institutet presents action plan

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.

External inquiry finds Paolo Macchiarini guilty of misconduct

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.

KI board directs vice-chancellor to create action plan

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.

Information meeting with Sten Heckscher

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.


Sifo survey: Macchiarini case has damaged KI’s reputation

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.

Inquiry into tracheal operations at Karolinska University Hospital

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 Investigation of the synthetic trachea transplantations at Karolinska University Hospital.

Comment on current media in the matter of suspected scientific misconduct

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.

New board proposed for KI

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.

Karolinska Institutet dismisses Macchiarini

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.

Role of the Ethics Council to be reviewed

5 March 2016. Recent events have accentuated that there is a need to clarify and revitalise work with research ethics at KI.

More reading on Acting Vice-Chancellor Karin Dahlman-Wright's blog 

Government requests renewal of KI board

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.

The Professors' Collegium: “We should have an atmosphere guided by ethics”

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. 

VC’s advisor resigns from post

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.

Comment by Acting Vice-Chancellor Karin Dahlman-Wright

Dean of Research to step down

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.

Karin Dahlman-Wright named Acting Vice-Chancellor

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.

More about Karin Dahlman-Wright

University Board decision on recruitment of new vice-chancellor

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.

Anders Hamsten steps down as 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.

DN Debatt on 13 February 2016: ”I am resigning my position as Vice-Chancellor of Karolinska Institutet”

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.

University Board launches external inquiry

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.

Investigators appointed in Macchiarini case

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.

Vice-Chancellor comments on board’s decision

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.

Decision on Paolo Macchiarini’s employment at KI

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.

KI found inaccuracies in CV

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.

Comments on the revelations in Vanity Fair

8 January 2016. When the Vanity Fair article was published on 5 January, Karolinska Institutet responded that it would investigate the claims “expeditiously”.

Comments on SVT’s documentary series “Experimenten”

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.

Visiting professor at Karolinska Institutet acquitted of scientific misconduct charges

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.

Vice-Chancellor Anders Hamsten comments on the investigation into suspected scientific misconduct

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.

Information on complaints and investigations concerning previous tracheal surgery

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.

Information concerning inquiry into alleged scientific misconduct

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.

Acquittal in misconduct case

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.