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The Alliance Revokes Hwang’s Indispensable Person of the Year Award

Published January 20, 2006

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The Alliance for Aging Research Announces Revocation of Dr. Woo Suk Hwang’s Indispensable Person of the Year Award

January 20th, 2006, Washington, D.C. – January 20, 2006 – It is with great disappointment that the Alliance for Aging Research announces the revocation of the Indispensable Person of the Year Award bestowed upon Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk at the Alliance’s Annual Bi Partisan Congressional Award’s Dinner last September 13. This esteemed award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions as leaders for research and medical technology that improves the health and independence of all people as they grow older. Hwang was chosen as the 2005 recipient to honor his “path-breaking scientific accomplishments” in stem cell research, which have been revealed as fraudulent in recent weeks.

An independent investigative panel from Seoul National University, where most of the research was conducted, has concluded that the results of two of Hwang’s seminal experiments were largely falsified. The results outlined in a 2004SCIENCE magazine article where Hwang claimed to have created the first stem cell lines from cloned human embryos, and the results in a 2005 SCIENCE article where he claimed to have created 11 stem cell lines genetically identical to patients, were both fabricated, apparently involving serious research misconduct.

The Alliance is revoking Hwang’s Indispensable Person of the Year Award because it was based on false assumptions, recognizing research that has since been discredited by an independent review panel. “We are saddened by recent events regarding Dr. Hwang Woo Suk’s research,” said Daniel Perry, executive director of the Alliance. “However, this does not diminish our hope and support for stem cell research where thousands of scientists around the world are working diligently to find treatments and cures for those disabled by disease.”

In the wake of these revelations, SCIENCE has announced that it will retract Hwang’s two studies, and the South Korean government has announced that it will withdraw Hwang’s Top Scientist title, an honor that was created for him after his purported breakthroughs that made South Korea the focus of international attention.

Founded in 1986, the Alliance for Aging Research is a nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to improving the health and independence of aging Americans through public and private funding of medical research and geriatric education. The Alliance combines the interest of top scientists, public officials, business executives, and foundation leaders to promote a greater national investment in research and new technologies that will prepare our nation for the coming senior boom, and improve the quality of life for today’s older generation

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