Navigation Links
Row over study puts Korea's scientific community under scrutiny again

This week's BMJ investigates a bitter row over a scientific paper that is putting Korea's scientific community under scrutiny once again.

The dispute has pitted a young Korean doctor, Jeong Hwan Kim, against Kwang Yul Cha, a fertility specialist and one of the most powerful players in the country's struggle for biotech supremacy, writes journalist Jonathan Gornall. It is also threatening to disrupt Korea's efforts to recover scientific credibility in the wake of the recent scandal over Woo-Sok Hwang's stem cell research.

Dr Kim claims a paper about premature ovarian failure that he originally published in the Korean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in January 2004 was translated and republished in the American journal Fertility and Sterility under a different title and with different authors in December 2005.

What is indisputable is that Dr Kim's name was not present in the later version of the paper and that in his place as lead author was Dr Cha, his former employer and the head of CHA Health Systems, a "global healthcare enterprise" whose interests include the CHA Stem Cell Institute and several hospitals and clinics in Korea and the US.

But the BMJ has learnt that the editor in chief of Fertility and Sterility has been threatened with legal action by Dr Cha, and that one of Dr Cha's co-authors on the disputed paper, Dr Sook Hwan Lee, has been charged with criminal copyright infringement.

Dr Kim told the BMJ that the paper had begun life as his PhD thesis and that there were just two names on it when it was published by Korea University in May 2003. He then submitted this as a paper to the Korean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in July 2003 with five additional names, including Sook Hwan Lee.

But his surprise turned to shock when, in December 2005, he saw a similar paper in Fertility and Sterility. He was even more shocked to see that the number of authors had reduced to six and that he was no lo nger one of them. The lead author was Dr Cha.

In December last year, Dr Kim filed a lawsuit in Korea against Dr Cha and Dr Lee, alleging breach of copyright. Dr Lee responded by alleging that Dr Kim had defamed her. The CHA group also claims that Dr Kim stole the data used in the study.

In February, the co-director of the CHA Stem Cell Institute, Professor Kwang Soo Kim, wrote to Fertility and Sterility to express regret about the incident. He explained how "our institution will serve a pivotal role in restoring the severely damaged reputation and credibility of stem cell and life science research in Korea after the Hwang scandal."

Professor Kim's intervention leaves little doubt about how seriously the CHA group views the potential of the incident to damage its bid to inherit Hwang's crown, says Gornall. Before his fall from grace, Professor Hwang received the bulk of Korean government funding in stem cell research. But, in November last year, CHA Medical Group announced its plans to succeed Professor Hwang's now defunct World Stem Cell Hub by building Korea's largest stem cell institute on land provided by the Korean government.


Source:BMJ-British Medical Journal

Related biology news :

1. Bioartificial kidney under study at MCG
2. W.M. Keck Foundation funds study of friendly microbes
3. Yellowstone microbes fueled by hydrogen, according to U. of Colorado study
4. Genome-wide mouse study yields link to human leukemia
5. Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
6. New imaging method gives early indication if brain cancer therapy is effective, U-M study shows
7. Same mutation aided evolution in many fish species, Stanford study finds
8. Sequencing of marine bacterium will help study of cell communication
9. Genetically modified rice in China benefits farmers health, study finds
10. A new study examines how shared pathogens affect host populations
11. NYU study reveals how brains immune system fights viral encephalitis
Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment ... on the heels of the deployment of its platform ... BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016   LegacyXChange, ... "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release its ... to be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed ... will also provide potential shareholders a sense of the ... an industry that is notorious for fraud. The video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... have just published their findings on what they believe could be a new ... summary of the new research. Click here to read it now. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks ... to industrial engineering, was today awarded as one ... selection of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo ... scale for the real world in the nutrition, ... engineers work directly with customers including Fortune 500 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in clinical research ... Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio revisits the ... tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how patients receive ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as ... the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship ... and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and ... with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring ...
Breaking Biology Technology: