Panel takes no action on scientist

From a Times Staff Writer

A medical society has delayed making a decision on whether to discipline a South Korean scientist with Los Angeles business ties who is accused of plagiarizing a research paper.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s publications committee met Friday in Santa Fe, N.M., to discuss whether Kwang-Yul Cha and other researchers at one of his South Korean facilities copied a research paper that had previously been published in a Korean medical journal.

Cha maintains that the research idea was his and that he did not know that a fellow researcher in one of his labs had submitted the paper for publication in South Korea before Cha and his colleagues decided to publish the paper in the U.S. journal Fertility and Sterility.

Sean Tipton, a spokesman for the society, said he could not estimate when the group might make a decision.