Paolo Macchiarini Age, Girlfriend, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Age: 65 Years
Hometown: Basel
Marital Status: Separated

Paolo Macchiarini

Profession(s)• Thoracic Surgeon
• Former Regenerative Medicine Researcher
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourSalt & Pepper
Personal Life
Date of Birth22 August 1958 (Friday)
Age (as of 2023)65 Years
BirthplaceBasel, Switzerland
Zodiac signLeo
College/University• University of Pisa, Italy
• University of Alabama, Birmingham, United States
• University of Franche-Cômpte, Beçanson, France
Educational Qualification(s)• MD at the University of Pisa (1980-1986)
• MCh at the University of Pisa (1986-1991)
• Masters in Biostatistics (MS) at the University of Alabama (1990-1991)
• MSc in Organ and Tissue Transplantation at the University of Franche-Cômpt (1991-1993)
• PhD in Organ and Tissue Transplantation at the University of Franche-Cômpte (1994-1997) [1]Citizens for Responsible Care and Research
Food HabitNon-Vegetarian [2]USA Today
ControversiesExtortion of University Hospital Careggi’s patient
In 2012, Macchiarini was arrested in Italy on charges of soliciting money from patients at AOUC to expedite their procedures. [3]Retraction Watch The charges were dismissed in May 2015, and the prosecutor's appeal was also dismissed in September 2015. [4]Corriere Fiorentino

Research Misconduct
In 2014, Macchiarini faced accusations from four former colleagues and co-authors, alleging falsification of claims in his research at Karolinska Institute (KI). KI's ethics committee responded to these allegations in April of the following year, particularly concerning research ethics and peer review at The Lancet, determining them to be groundless. [5]Retraction Watch An external expert, Bengt Gerdin, was appointed by KI to review the charges, comparing reported outcomes with the hospital's medical records. In May 2015, Gerdin's report revealed that Macchiarini had committed research misconduct in seven papers, involving issues such as lack of ethical approval for certain procedures, misrepresentation of operation results, and inaccuracies in work with animals. [6]Nature In August 2015, after considering the findings and a response from Macchiarini, KI Vice-Chancellor Anders Hamsten concluded that Macchiarini had acted 'without due care,' but there was no evidence of misconduct. [7]Retaction Watch

Con Man
In January 2016, a widely-read American magazine published an article detailing the courtship and purported marriage arrangements involving NBC News producer Benita Alexander and Paolo Macchiarini. Assigned to produce a documentary titled 'A Leap of Faith' about Paolo in 2013, Benita became romantically involved with him during the project. However, in 2015, she discovered that he had been married for thirty years, covering the entire period of their courtship. The article exposes Macchiarini's alleged fabrications, including false claims of being a surgeon to celebrities and world leaders such as former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and extravagant wedding plans with Pope Francis officiating, Andrea Bocelli and Elton John performing, Enoteca Pinchiorri catering, and numerous celebrities in attendance. [8]Vanity Fair [9]Rolling Stone Macchiarini reportedly said that Pope Francis had blessed their wedding, which was denied by the Pope's spokesperson, saying that the Pope did not know anyone by that name and would not officiate such an event. [10]The Guardian

Criminal Investigations and Convictions
In June 2016, Swedish police launched an investigation to explore the possibility of charging Paolo Macchiarini with involuntary manslaughter. After a year-long medico-legal inquiry, the attorney general's office declared in October 2017 that Macchiarini had shown negligence in four of the five cases under investigation. They pointed to the use of devices and procedures lacking adequate evidence. However, the authorities stated that a criminal act could not be substantiated, as the patients might have succumbed under any alternative treatment. [11]Reuters [12]Retraction Watch

In 2019, an Italian court sentenced Paolo Macchiarini to sixteen months in prison for abuse of office and forging documents. Nevertheless, he was subsequently acquitted of all charges by the Supreme Court. [13]RaiNews
Relationships & More
Marital StatusSeparated [14]YouTube - ABC News
Affairs/GirlfriendsBenita Alexander (an NBC News producer)
Paolo Macchiarini with Benita Alexander
FiancéeBenita Alexander
An engagement day photo of Paolo Macchiarini and Benita Alexander
Engagement Date25 December 2013
Marriage DateYear, 1986
Wife/SpouseEmanuela Pecchia
ChildrenHe has a son and a daughter with Emanuela Pecchia.

Note: Apparently, he has three more children.

Paolo Macchiarini with Benita Alexander

Some Lesser Known Facts About Paolo Macchiarini

  • Paolo Macchiarini is a Swiss thoracic surgeon and former regenerative medicine researcher, who became known after getting involved in research fraud and displaying manipulative behaviour.
  • He was born into a family of Italian parents. [15]Vanity Fair
  • He faced accusations of unethically conducting experimental surgeries, including procedures on patients who were relatively healthy. Reportedly, seven out of eight patients who received one of his synthetic trachea transplants faced fatal outcomes. [16]Expressen
  • From 1990 to 1992, he worked as an assistant professor at the University of Pisa, Italy.
  • He never had a salaried position at Hannover Medical School in Germany, according to the medical school; however, he held the position of head of the department of thoracic and vascular surgery at the Heidehaus Hannover Hospital from 1999 to 2004.
  • Paolo worked as an investigator at the Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques-Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas in Barcelona, Spain, from 2006 to 2009. During this period, he was affiliated with the University of Barcelona and worked at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.
  • He held an honorary position as a visiting professor at University College London from 2009 to 2014.
  • Starting in 2010, he became a consultant and project manager at University Hospital Careggi (AOUC). In the same year, Macchiarini assumed his position as a visiting professor at the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm, Sweden, and a part-time surgical position at the affiliated university hospital.
  • Paolo established connections in Russia after giving a master class in 2010, leading to a trachea transplant he performed there. This event, covered widely in Russian media, resulted in his 2011 appointment at Kuban State Medical University. The university and the Russian government-funded this position, accompanied by an honorary doctorate. [17]Science
  • In 2010, Paolo Macchiarini performed transplant surgery on his patient Keziah Shorten, who was suffering from trachea cancer. Unfortunately, the transplant did not succeed, and the next year, a synthetic trachea was implanted at University College Hospital London for palliative care. Despite being discharged in 2011 and getting to spend Christmas at home with her family, Keziah eventually passed away due to her underlying disease. [18]BBC

    Paolo Macchiarini with Keziah Shorten

    Paolo Macchiarini with Keziah Shorten

  • In June 2012, Paolo Macchiarini carried out surgery to implant a second synthetic seeded trachea on Alexander Zozulya. Zozulya had a tracheostomy resulting from a car accident, and his life was not immediately at risk. [19]New Scientist After complications arose from the first implant in 2012, a second surgery took place in November 2013. Unfortunately, Alexander Zozulya passed away in February 2014 under unclear circumstances. [20]BBC
  • In August 2013, Sadiq Kanaan underwent a complete synthetic seeded tracheal implant procedure performed by Macchiarini at Kuban State Medical University. [21]BBC He passed away later that same year. [22]Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  • In 2013, KI terminated its clinical relationship with Macchiarini but allowed him to continue as a researcher; however, in February 2016, the university decided not to renew his research contract, terminating it the following month. [23]Nature
  • In April 2013, Paolo Macchiarini conducted a procedure to implant a fully synthetic seeded trachea in two-year-old Hannah Warren, who was born without a trachea. The surgery took place at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, United States. The procedure also included her oesophagus, which didn’t heal properly and required a second operation in June. She succumbed to complications from the second surgery on 6 July 2013. [24]The New York Times

    Paolo Macchiarini with Hannah Warren

    Paolo Macchiarini with Hannah Warren

  • In June 2014, Macchiarini conducted a procedure to implant a fully synthetic seeded trachea in Dmitri Onogda at Kuban State Medical University. The initial implant failed, and it was subsequently replaced. As of 2017, Dmitri Onogda was reported to still be alive. [25]BBC [26]Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  • He moved to Kazan Federal University in 2016, taking the grant money with him; however, the university terminated his research project in April 2017. [27]Science
  • In August 2021, the third season of the ‘Dr. Death’ podcast was released, featuring a six-episode season titled ‘Miracle Man,’ which covers the story of Paolo Macchiarini. The podcast focuses on allegations of ethical misconduct and manipulation in Macchiarini’s medical practices, along with the deceptive aspects of his relationship with Benita Alexander. The series includes interviews with Benita Alexander, offering insights into the controversies surrounding Paolo. [28]Rolling Stone
  • In 2023, a documentary titled ‘Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife’ was released on Netflix, focusing on Paolo’s work in the field of regenerative medicine.

    Poster of the 2023 Netflix documentary 'Bad Surgeon - Love Under the Knife'

    Poster of the 2023 Netflix documentary ‘Bad Surgeon – Love Under the Knife’

  • He can speak many languages very well including Italian, German, English, French, Spanish, and Catalan. [29]Citizens for Responsible Care and Research
  • He smokes cigars occasionally.

    Paolo Macchiarini smoking a cigar

    Paolo Macchiarini smoking a cigar

  • He is often spotted consuming alcohol in public.

    Paolo Macchiarini holding a small glass of alcohol

    Paolo Macchiarini holding a small glass of alcohol