Forget retracting a paper, could Paolo Macchiarini try to get a retraction of Vanity Fair piece on his wild personal life an CV?
Macchiarini is one of the more well-known stem cell and regenerative medicine researchers, and not always related to good news. You can see read posts I’ve done on him on this blog including this most recent one related to dismissal of alleged misconduct charges. That development had been some relatively good news for the man sometimes known as the “super surgeon”. He is most recognized for his work on bioengineered trachea made in part from stem cells.
Now Macchiarini is the subject of a scathing exposé in Vanity Fair that reads like something out of the Kardarshian universe.
The Vanity Fair piece alleges amongst other things that Macchiarini proposed to NBC News Producer Benita Alexander, while they were working on an NBC news piece on stem cells called “A Leap of Faith”, even while he was very much married. Reportedly, a wedding with Alexander was fully planned.
Vanity Fair also reports that the stem cell surgeon made claims of knowing many celebrities who would come to the wedding (more below) and that the Pope would officiate their wedding. Allegedly in addition he made the surprising assertion that:
“he was part of a “highly classified group of doctors from around the world who cater to the world’s V.I.P.’s.”
This sounds like the super heroes of medicine.
The wedding reportedly was to have some extraordinary VIP guests too at least according to the names on the invitations:
“the invitations were addressed to, among others, the Obamas, the Clintons, the Putins, the Sarkozys, Andrea Bocelli, Kofi Annan, Russell Crowe, Elton John, John Legend, Kenny Rogers, Meredith Vieira, and His Holiness Pope Francis.”
But it all fell apart according to Vanity Fair.
So what happened?
Benita eventually found out that things were not as they seemed. Macchiarini was already married. The Pope would not have been officiating at their wedding and more.
Vanity Fair went so far as to consult Dr. Ronald Schouten, a Harvard Professor of Law and Psychiatry Service about Macchiarini and Schouten described him as, “the extreme form of a con man.”
Vanity Fair also claims that numerous listings on Macchiarini’s CV are invalid.
What’s next for Macchiarini? It’s hard to say.
Hopefully as for Ms. Alexander, she can go on with her life.