South Korea’s stem-cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk is being investigated by prosecuotrs for fraud, misuse of state research funds and breach of bioethics law.

Hwang’s team had failed to make a single tailor-made stem cell as it reported in a landmark research paper last year, a media report said on Monday. A team led by the once-heralded Hwang had deliberately faked two landmark papers on embryonic stem cells report says. Hwang resigned from his post at the university in December

Hwang’s research had raised hopes because it seemed to hasten the day when genetically specific tissue could be grown from embryonic stem cells to repair damaged organs or treat diseases such as Parkinson’s.

The Seoul National University panel said Hwang’s team faked data for a 2004 paper on producing the first cloned human embryos for research and a 2005 report on producing the first embryonic tailored stem cells, both published in the U.S. journal Science.

About 2,000 people demonstrated in Seoul on Saturday in support of Hwang. Earlier the same day, a truck driver in his late 50s committed suicide by setting himself on fire after distributing leaflets calling on Hwang to resume his work.

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