Discredited Japan stem-cell scientist commits suicide

August 06, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

TOKYO:  A Japanese researcher at the centre of discredited research initially hailed as a potential breakthrough for stem-cell treatment killed himself after months of stress and exhaustion.   

Yoshiki Sasai was the coauthor of the high-profile research that had seemed to offer hope for replacing damaged cells or even growing new human organs.

He was found dead early yesterday at the Riken institute where he worked in Kobe, Japan, police and the institute said.

“It is confirmed as a suicide,” said a police spokesman. “It was a hanging.”

Sasai, 52, had been hospitalised in March for stress and become less receptive to media inquiries during the controversy over the team’s research, Riken spokesman said.

The scientist “had seemed completely exhausted” in their last phone conversation around May or June, Kagaya told a televised news conference.