September 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

More on Moriguchi: bogus iPS cell transplant poster guy

The fellow at the center of what appears to be a made up story about iPS cell transplantation into humans is named Hisashi Moriguchi.

Two new articles in the Japanese media support the notion that he has made the whole iPS cell transplant story up: here and here.

Most people I’ve talked to in the stem cell field have not heard of him before.

Who is this guy? What’s his history in science?

While it seemed he might be a physician or a PhD, the latest evidence suggests he may only have a nursing degree.

At some point it appears Mr. Moriguchi was listed as an associate professor at University of Tokyo, but that website has been taken down. Here is a cache of the page though which is fascinating reading…if you know Japanese or have a good translator.

He had some kind of training position or visiting position at Harvard ending in 2000, but has invoked his old Harvard connection in recent years including as I first reported on two 2012 papers claiming Harvard IRB approval that Harvard says is false.

According to a commenter on this blog (Markus07), Moriguchi was interviewed on Japanese TV and the interview did not go well:

yesterday on NHK (main Japanese national channel) was interview with Moriguchi. Reporters just ask few questions – if he really was in US and study at Harvard – show us passport and visa – he did not response. After that asked if is true that he is not a physician – he did not answer. Asked basic questions about what IPS cell is – he did not answer clearly.. Assumption was – if he knows what he is talking about…all this interview put him in very bad light.

This appears to be a case of one man causing a lot of trouble with a story that does add up.

Key remaining questions….

Did he submit this transplant abstract to the NYSCF meeting and it was accepted or did he change his poster/abstract to capitalize on Yamanaka’s Nobel Prize?

In either case, why the heck did he do this?

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