Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cloning Human Embryos Exposes its Researcher

"A research team at Shandong Stem Cell Engineering Research Center has successfully cloned five human blastulas." Thus reported China Daily. The result was hailed as a major breakthrough in stem cell research, at least in China. However, it becomes immediately clear that the principle researcher of this project is more interesting in media discussion than the result itself.

Li Jianyuan(李建远), the chief of the laboratory which performed the research, has a resume that included a Ph.D. from a "Nobel Medical Institute" in America. At first, Li Jianyuan has refused to disclose the exact name of the institute in English as many interested parties, including Fang Zhouzi, failed to locate any accredited school bearing a similar name. More recently, Li Jianyuan produced a certificate bearing the name cited above, which purported to locate in California. However, an exhaustive search in California state record database failed to show such an institute either. Based on other relevant information, Fang Zhouzi concluded that the certificate is most likely a product by a Chinese-American individual who did not even bother to formally register his "school."

It is also established that Li Jianyuan has never traveled abroad and therefore could not have received Ph. D. training in America. Li Jianyuan explained that the degree was a result of a research paper he submitted along with some recommendation letters. He claimed that he has not taken it seriously himself either. Yet it did not stop him from using the Ph.D. title in his various versions of resumes and signature lines in his published papers.

As more information about Li Jianyuan surfaced, it became clear that Li Jianyuan not only did not possess any Ph.D. degree, he has likely forged a master degree certificate as well. In fact, chances are that he had never received a four-year regular college education. It is amazing to see how far he had achieved in China's academia with such a spotty history.

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