Dr. Xu, one of the leading scientists in the world, discovered in 1984 the existence of “regenerative cell” which was confirmed to be keratin-19 positive stem cell after 2000 (US patent 6991813B2), during his study of burn treatments that has benefited 20 million burn victims in 73 countries, claims his good reputation in the community was defamed by a statement published by defendants, The Nobel Assembly, causing damages to Dr. Xu by their conduct. The suit alleges The Nobel Assembly has been successful in garnering media attention for their Nobel Prize announcements in essentially every major news organizations and publications world-wide, proving they can affect the perception of an individual by misreporting information.
“My main priority for filing this suit was to clarify the Academy’s mistaken and misleading statements for the preservation of humanity and future generations, life science research should not desecrate the nature of human life,” stated Dr. Xu.
On October 8, 2012, The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly to Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent,” which was covered extensively in the media.
In an abstract published on its website made in conjunction with the selection, The Nobel Assembly described the scientists’ discovery. The Nobel Assembly claims that the scientists’ discovery “represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of cellular differentiation and of the plasticity of the differentiated state.” The abstract goes on to claim that: “[t]ogether, Gurdon and Yamanaka have transformed our understanding of cellular differentiation. They have demonstrated that the usually very stable differentiated state can be unlocked because it harbours a potential for reversion to pluripotency. This discovery has introduced fundamentally new research areas, and offers exciting new opportunities to study disease mechanisms.”
Dr. Xu believes, and alleges the Statement made by The Nobel Assembly is false as he was the scientist who made the discovery a decade earlier, therefore defaming his exemplary reputation. The Nobel Assembly states that the scientists who won the Nobel Prize “have transformed our understanding of cellular differentiation” because “[t]hey have demonstrated that the usually very stable differentiated state can be unlocked because it harbours a potential for reversion to pluripotency.” Those scientists did not demonstrate as such. It was ten years earlier that Dr. Xu made that discovery when he was able to explain how his discovery unlocked a somatic cell’s potential to revert to pluripotent stem cell in situ.
The Nobel Assembly’s use of the word “unlocked” compounds the falsity of the statement because it suggests that the scientists who won the Nobel Prize are harnessing an inherent ability of a somatic cell to revert to its pluripotent state through natural means that do not alter the cells integrity. If the Nobel Prize scientists’ findings consisted of leaving a somatic cell intact and unmodified, such as Dr. Xu’s finding, then the Statement would have been true and accurate. However, the Nobel Prize scientists’ discovery actually consists of the creation of an altered cell having nothing to do with human body pluripotent stem cell. The Academy also falsely stated that “[t]his discovery has introduced fundamentally new research areas, and offers exciting new opportunities to study disease mechanisms” which is also inaccurate.
The Statements made by the defendant has tainted and damaged Dr. Xu’s achievements in the eyes of the scientific community, business, potential investors and his ability to continue to be selected as a top keynote speaker for several major international conferences.
The Plaintiff is represented by the Ardent Law Group in California, case number: 30-2012-00615804. Please contact Jane Westgate 336.608.4439 or Cheryl Riley 703.683.1798.