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Riken's Ryoji Noyori Resigns

Ryoji Noyori is to step down as the president of Riken by the end of the month, reports ScienceInsider's Dennis Normile.

Noyori is three years into his third five-year term, Normile says, adding that Japanese news reports say he is resigning due to age — he is 76 — or due to a desire to put the STAP cell fraud scandal to rest.

For the past year, Riken has been reeling from fallout from a once-promising technique, called stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency, or STAP, being revealed as fraudulent. The Nature papers describing the approach have been retracted, the lead researcher has been found guilty of research misconduct and resigned, and subsequent investigations have found the effect to actually be due to contamination.

Noyori won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on chirally catalysed hydrogenation reactions, and he became the president of Riken two years later. ScienceInsider says that the search for Noyori's replacement is already underway.