Karolinska institutet i Solna. Foto Bertil Ericson/TT.
The Karolinska Institute has been rocked by the Macchiarini affair, dubbed "the largest research scandal in Swedish history". File photo: Bertil Ericson/TT.

Government to replace Karolinska board members

Nominating committee member: "We only have a month"
4:54 min

The government is replacing part of the Karolinska Institute’s board following the scandal involving surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, news agency TT reports.

On the government's website, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research, wrote that renewing the board is necessary, in order to recreate a high level of confidence in the activities at Karolinska Institute.

The government has appointed former chancellor of the Swedish Higher Education Authority Lars Haikola to join the group that will nominate potential board members. By April 1st, the nominating group will need to suggest who they believe should serve on the institute's board.

"We only have a month," Haikola told Radio Sweden. "And it's always very delicate to compose a board, and it's really not a good thing to do it under time pressure, but we have to stick to that."

Haikola says that the new board needs to be in place by May 1st.

The prestigious institution has been rocked by the scandal, which broke out after a three-part documentary about Macchiarini aired on Swedish Television.

The affair, dubbed "the largest research scandal in Swedish history", involved revelations around Macchiarini's implantation of artificial windpipes.

Now, in a further blow to the Karolinska Institute, the government has decided to step in and replace some of its board members.

Chairman of the Karolinska Institute, Lars Leijonborg, told TT, “I have no comment, other than that it’s important to remember the board’s mandate, that the board cannot get involved in research issues."

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