Waseda University has announced that it has rescinded Haruko Obokata's doctoral degree, Retraction Watch reports. Obokata was the first author on the 2014 Nature papers, since retracted, that purported to show that stimuli like low pH could revert cells to an embryonic stem cell-like state.
An investigation by Riken, which employed Obokata at the time, uncovered instances of research misconduct, most notably fabrication and falsifications. The papers were retracted due to "critical errors" and Obokata resigned. Follow-up work has since shown that the effect observed was likely due to contamination.
These investigations also brought up concerns regarding Obokata's PhD work.
According to Retraction Watch, Waseda had revoked her degree "on probationary basis" as it worked with Obokata to redo her thesis — the school found that part of it contained passages strikingly similar to some found on the US National Institutes of Health website. But the revisions made to her thesis didn't meet the full scope of faculty instructions, and Waseda has made the revocation of Obokata's degree final.