• Kyodo

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The science ministry said it has set up a team to facilitate reform of the government-backed Riken institute following a scandal surrounding a study on STAP cells.

The team, headed by Senior Vice Minister Yoshitaka Sakurada and consisting of senior officials of related agencies, will advise Riken on internal reforms.

Hakubun Shimomura, minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology, had said his ministry would set up the team to promote reform.

A committee investigating Riken has called for the institute’s Center for Developmental Biology to be disbanded, citing failures to prevent alleged misconduct by researcher Haruko Obokata in high-profile studies she led on STAP cells.

The committee also called on the center’s director and deputy director, Masatoshi Takeichi and Yoshiki Sasai, to step down. Sasai served as one of Obokata’s supervisors.