SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea's top university said Friday it is moving to punish disgraced stem-cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk and six other professors over faked research.
Chung Un-chan, head of Seoul National University, asked for severe punishments against the seven professors and stripped Hwang of his "chair professor" post, a process that launches a disciplinary committee expected to issue a final punishment within few months, the university said.
Though Hwang was relieved of the chair professor post and has offered to resign his faculty position, he still maintains the title of professor of veterinary medicine at the university. His future standing will be determined by the committee, the university said.
Hwang, once lionized for his purported stem-cell research breakthroughs, has apologized for the scandal but accused his colleagues of deceiving him.
Last week, Hwang claimed some of the cloned embryonic stem cells at his lab had been switched without his knowledge, repeating a call for prosecutors to investigate.
Seoul National University said this month that Hwang fabricated landmark papers published in leading international scientific journals in 2004 and 2005.
The claim shattered his reputation as a global pioneer in the field of embryonic stem cells, which scientists hope can be used to find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's and diabetes.