Poll on Moriguchi iPS cell story: what’s your take?

3 Comments


  1. This looks like a case of a charlatan meeting sloppy journalism.

    Apparently Yomiuri had removed the original Japanese article from their web site some time ago. The English version was available online after that for a while, but now it is gone, too. Meanwhile, there have been reports from other Japanese news organizations questioning the validity of the original report.

    Mr. Moriguchi appears more and more like a strange character. In one interview, he admits of not being an MD. There have been reports that he got education in nursing rather than in medicine. There is nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t quite fit the profile of someone doing the cutting-edge stem cell research. He seemed to somehow have gotten a faculty position at the prestigious University of Tokyo at one point, albeit of a non-tenure track kind that was based on a special appointment. The University of Tokyo removed his information from their web site amidst of this debacle, but the record is available here (in Japanese):
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:1vhKYQBzRgEJ:www.rcast.u-tokyo.ac.jp/ja/people/staff-moriguchi_hisashi.html
    It says he finished a graduate program of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, though the degree he obtained is not specified. His research areas listed concern intellectual properties, rather than actual lab work, which is another strange thing.

    The publication list of Mr. Moriguchi from the pubmed search result that Paul linked is quite unusual. The majority of them are commentaries rather than original research papers.

    It is still not entirely clear what Mr. Moriguchi’s background is and what his motivations are, but he does not seem like a legitimate researcher in the stem cell field!

    As a Japanese scientist living in US, I find this embarrassing. I blame this on Yomiuri as much as on Mr. Moriguchi. There may always be charlatans, but if the journalists had done their job, this debacle would not have happened. My only relief is that this episode appears to be not widely reported outside of Japan. Then again, that makes me question the quality of journalism in Japan. Sigh.


    • Thank you for this helpful comment with the link and information. I agree that Yomiuri is much to blame as well Mr. Moriguchi himself.


  2. According to the data disclosed so far, Moriguch’s nationality, doctorial degree, and/or DOB are unknown. It has been reported that he has a BS (nursing).

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