It is easy to say that scientists the world over aspire to win a Nobel Prize for their achievements in their respective fields. The award, which was a result of Alfred Nobel's guilt over inventing dynamite, comes with not only an actual medal minted in Sweden and a Diploma from the king of Sweden itself, but also a sizable sum of money.
Because of the accolades and the financial compensation, there have been candidates who have done everything they can to win the prestigious award with some going so far as falsifying results. Such is the case of surgeon Paolo Macchiarini.
Paolo Macchiarini, a thoracic surgeon from Italy, was recommended by Urban Lendahl for a position at the Karolinska Institute - the university which houses 50 of the voting members for the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. The recommendation came following Macchiarini's supposed revolutionary work on stem cell and artificial organs. In fact, Macchiarini was part of the team who conducted the first windpipe transplant made from stem cells in 2008.
However, a recently released Swedish documentary, The Experiments, exposed questionable facets of Macchiarini's work. According to the film, despite the glowing successes Macchiarini described his operations to be, six out of eight of his patients have died after receiving his polymer windpipes.
The documentary has led to an inquiry surrounding Macchiarini's work. The Karolinska Institute has since announced that Paolo Macchiarini's contract would not be renewed after his current contract expires. The university has since released a statement explaining details of their actions.
"The head of Macchiarini's department has been instructed by the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that, until 30 November 2016, Macchiarini uses his working hours to phase out the research he has conducted at KI. The head of department is also responsible for ensuring that the work of his research group is dismantled" read the official release.