MUSC pathologist arrested in stem cell scam

Dr. Vincent Dammai (MUSC)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV)-- An assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at MUSC has been arrested in connection with a federal stem cell sting.

In a statement, The Medical University of South Carolina says they were notified Wednesday that Dr. Vincent Dammai was arrested by federal authorities. MUSC has placed Dr. Dammai on
administrative leave pending the resolution of the matter.

MUSC says Dammai's lab and office have been locked and secured and that the federal authorities have concluded that the university had no prior knowledge of Dammai's activities.

In a 19-page indictment unsealed on Tuesday, 52 year-old Francisco Morales from Brownsville,
TX was arrested for posing as a doctor and researcher in order to buy umbilical cords and
placentas from a Del Rio, TX maternity clinic. Morales is accused of shipping them to a lab in
Arizona and then forwarding them to Dammai here in Charleston for the harvesting of stem cells.

The 15-count indictment says Morales sold the stem cells for medical treatments and other uses not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

The AP Contributed to this story