Paolo Macchiarini, once celebrated for his pioneering work in replacing damaged windpipes with artificial ones seeded with the patients’ own stem cells, was exposed in 2016 as misrepresenting the effectiveness of his procedures. His engineered windpipes were found to do more harm than good.
Professor Rasko and Dr Power argue that the institutions that supported Paolo Macchiarini, amongst them, University College London and Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, should conduct independent and comprehensive investigations into their association with the surgeon and his techniques.
They point out that only one of the institutions that hosted Macchiarini, the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, has publicly acknowledged his scientific fraud and unethical human experimentation.
“By conducting thorough investigations into their association with Paolo Macchiarini, these highly regarded institutions can demonstrate their commitment to upholding the utmost levels of rigorous medical research, ethical practices and patient care,” said Professor Rasko.
The full essay from Professor Rasko and Dr Power can be found online at the BMJ.
Professor Rasko is Head of the Centenary Institute’s Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program and Head of the Department of Cell and Molecular Therapies at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Dr Carl Power is an editorial research officer within the Centenary Institute’s Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program.