Huffington Post reports that Yoshiki Sasai has apparently committed suicide. Sasai was a mentor and co-author on the 2 retracted Nature papers that describe STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) stem cells.
Sasai’s team retracted the research papers from British science journal Nature over co-author Haruko Obokata’s alleged malpractice, which she has contested. Retractions of papers in major scientific journals are extremely rare, and the scandal was a major embarrassment to Japanese scientific research.
While fraud and misconduct are extremely bad for the scientific community, and this was a very public example of scientific misconduct, it is very sad to see this result. CauseScience sends its condolences to Sasai’s family, friends, colleagues, and peer researchers.