Hwang Woo-Suk (Korean: 황우석, born 29 January 1953) is a South Korean veterenarian researcher. He was a professor of theriogenology and biotechnology at Seoul National University (dismissed on March 20, 2006) who became infamous for fabricating a series of experiments, which appeared in high profile journals, in the field of stem cell research. Until November 2005, he was considered one of the pioneering experts in the field of stem cell research, best known for two articles published in the journal Science in 2004 and 2005 where he fraudulently reported to have succeeded in creating human embryonic stem cells by cloning. Both papers were later editorially retracted after they were found to contain a large amount of fabricated data. He has admitted to various charges of fraud.
On May 12, 2006, Hwang was "indicted on embezzlement and bioethics law violations linked to faked stem cell research." Korea Times reported on June 10, 2007 that "The university expelled him and the government rescinded its financial and legal support. The government has subsequently barred Hwang from conducting human cloning research. While being charged with fraud and embezzlement, he has kept a relatively low profile at the Suam Bioengineering Research Institute in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, where he currently holds a position. Since the controversy subsided, despite the past history and his lost credibility as a scientist, Hwang's lab has been actively publishing manuscripts, many of which have appeared on PubMed, the online database for biomedical research.
Early day Hwang Woo Suk grew up in the central Korean province of South Chungcheong. He worked at a farm to finance his studies when his widowed mother could not earn enough to provide for him and five other siblings. Hwang matriculated at Seoul National University after graduating from Daejeon high school. It was later revealed that despite his professors urging that he become a medical doctor, Hwang chose to be a veterinarian. After earning his doctorate, Hwang briefly practiced veterinary medicine, before moving into the field of scientific research. His aim at the time was to create a genetically superior Korean cow. Eventually, he became a full-time researcher at his alma mater, Seoul National University.