A Stem Cell Researcher from Kyoto was Found Guilty of Fabricating data
In the science and medical field, every factor and variable in the study is so important and that you do not want to mess with the findings. Doing so will not only tarnish the reputation of other well-known scientists who have done their hardest to make things work in the community, but it will also pave the way for people to not trust scientific studies anymore.
A stem cell researcher from Kyoto University was found guilty of data fabrication. His name is Kohei Yamamizu and what he has done was he had fabricated six main figures of a certain study. These figures, according to the author of the study, had pivotal roles based on the conclusions that were drawn by the author himself.
Shinya Yamanaka is a well-respected scientist who shared the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with British Scientists, John Gurdon. Both of them were responsible for creating induced pluripotent stem cells from adult stem cells– those that came from our bodies.
Kohei Yamamizu, on the other hand, is an assistant professor in a research group that was spearheaded by Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA).
According to Japan’s Education Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi in a press conference, Yamamizu’s misconduct tarnishes the reputation of the scientific body and it may also lead to people’s distrust in scientific and research studies. Hayashi later remarked that what Yamamizu did was “extremely regrettable”.
Hayashi, in an attempt to save the reputation of the scientific community, tasked Kyoto University to do their very best to prevent a recurrence.
In another press conference, Shinya Yamanaka said that he was truly regretful that he was not able to prevent such misconduct from one of his subordinates.
He said that the incident will be taken seriously and Yamamizu will be sanctioned accordingly so that such an occurrence will likely never happen again.
And, that was actually what happened. Back on March 30th, the university fired Kohei Yamamizu for fabricating key factors in a study. And, since Yamamizu is one of Yamanaka’s subordinates, the esteemed professor was also given an undisclosed penalty as well.
What Does This Incident Mean in the Future?
Scientific studies should always remain factual in the sense that all of the variables that are reported is truly based on the research that was conducted and not just created to suit the author’s own conclusions.
That being said, I do not think that firing Yamamizu is the right thing to do, but it does send a very strong message that data fabrication, especially in scientific studies, is definitely not something that any researcher should do.
Hopefully, this incident will never happen again and I hope that people would still believe in future research because the findings that can be gathered from such gives us hope, especially when it is from the medical and scientific community.