A famed Japanese stem-cell researcher who co-authored a study that was later retracted was found dead, hanging inside one of his research offices in an apparent suicide case.
Yoshiki Sasai, 52, was found dead in the western city of Kobe, Agence France-Presse reported.
“Yoshiki Sasai was discovered hanging on Tuesday morning inside one of Riken’s research buildings and, after being sent to the hospital, he was confirmed dead,” a spokesman for the Hyogo Prefectural police told AFP. “Police are investigating the case as a suspected suicide.”
A spokesman for Riken said authorities found “farewell notes” that Sasai had left behind, including one specifically for researcher Haruko Obokata.
Ms. Obokata, 30, had been mentored by Sasai and supposedly discovered amazing new science that actually grew transplant tissues in a laboratory setting. But her research unraveled, and the scientific community accused her of fabricating data, AFP said. Sasai, meanwhile, was accused of improperly supervising her and was forced to issue a public apology.