Paolo Macchiarini Net Worth: How Rich Is The Italian Thoracic Surgeon?

Paolo Macchiarini is an Italian surgeon and former regenerative medicine researcher facing legal issues due to research fraud and questionable conduct.

He was convicted of causing bodily harm, but not assault, receiving a suspended sentence in June 2022.

However, his sentence was later increased to two years and six months in prison by an appeals court. Despite appeals, the Supreme Court declined to consider the case on October 30, 2023.

Paolo Macchiarini Net Worth

Before Paolo Macchiarini faced problems and went to jail, people thought he was good at regenerative medicine, especially making synthetic scaffold trachea transplants with patients’ own stem cells.

Many worldwide knew him, and he gave hope to people with bad trachea problems. But, when they looked into what he was doing, they found out he didn’t get the right permissions and didn’t ask patients enough if they wanted it.

This caused big issues, and sadly, some people even died from the trachea transplants. Even with all this trouble, the Italian surgeon still has money, and his net worth is estimated to be between $1 million and $5 million.

As a practicing surgeon, he garnered an annual income of €203,341, equating to an hourly rate of €98, aligning with the average earnings for surgeons in Italy.

Profile Summary

Net Worth$1 million to $5 million
Full NamePaolo Macchiarini
Age65 years old
Date of Birth August 22, 1958
Place of Birth Basel, Switzerland
NationalityItalian
OccupationSurgeon
WifeEmanuela Pecchia
Ex-Partners Benita Alexander
Ana Paula Bernardes
Children3

Early Life

Paolo Macchiarini was born in Basel, Switzerland, on August 22, 1958. Despite his birthplace, he is of Italian nationality. Information about Macchiarini’s parents has not been shared with the public.

However, according to an online journal in The Lancet, Macchiarini’s father moved to Switzerland after World War 2, which left Italy in ruins. Eventually, they returned back to Italy when Macchiarini said he wanted to become a doctor.

Educational Background

Paolo Macchiarini earned his medical degree at the University of Pisa in 1986, later becoming an assistant professor there.

He pursued further education, including a Master of Surgery in 1991 and certificates in organ and tissue transplantation from the University of Franche-Comté in France in 1994 and 1997.

He held various positions, such as head of the thoracic and vascular surgery department at Heidehaus Hanover Hospital and investigator in Barcelona.

Macchiarini had affiliations with University College London and University Hospital Careggi. In 2010, he became a visiting professor at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Stockholm.

Although his clinical relationship with KI ended in 2013, he continued research until his contract termination in 2016. He also established ties in Russia, working at Kuban State Medical University in 2011, and later moved to Kazan Federal University in 2016. However, his research project there was terminated in April 2017.

Paola Macchiarini Trachea Surgeries

Paolo Macchiarini did several special surgeries involving tracheas:

  1. Claudia Castillo: In 2008, he replaced Claudia Castillo’s damaged bronchus and collapsed lung with a trachea from a donor, stripped it of its cells, and seeded it with Castillo’s bone marrow cells. The surgery took place at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona.
  2. Ciaran Finn-Lynch: In 2010, Macchiarini helped with a transplant for a ten-year-old boy, Ciaran Finn-Lynch, at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. The boy had a very small trachea, and Macchiarini used his stem cells to seed it just before implanting it.
  3. Keziah Shorten: She had trachea cancer, and in 2010, Macchiarini did a transplant similar to Castillo’s and Finn-Lynch’s. The transplant failed the next year, and Keziah Shorten had a synthetic trachea implanted for palliative care in 2011.
  4. Unnamed Russian woman: In 2010, Macchiarini transplanted a seeded trachea on a 25-year-old woman in Russia.
  5. Andemariam Teklesenbet Beyene: In 2011, Macchiarini worked with scientists to make a fully synthetic trachea for Andemariam Teklesenbet Beyene. The transplant initially seemed successful, but Beyene faced complications and eventually passed away in 2013.
  6. Christopher Lyles: In 2011, Macchiarini created a synthetic trachea for Christopher Lyles, who had tracheal cancer. Lyles died suddenly in 2012.
  7. Yulia Tuulik: In 2012, Macchiarini implanted a synthetic seeded trachea in Yulia Tuulik in Russia. However, the trachea later collapsed, and she died in 2014.
  8. Alexander Zozulya: Also, in 2012, Macchiarini implanted a synthetic seeded trachea in Alexander Zozulya. Complications from the first implant led to a second surgery in 2013, and Zozulya died in 2014.
  9. Yesim Cetir: In 2012, Yesim Cetir had her trachea replaced by Macchiarini with a synthetic one due to complications from a routine surgery in 2011. She faced numerous complications and died in 2017 after multiple organ transplants.
  10. Hannah Warren: In 2013, Macchiarini implanted a synthetic seeded trachea in two-year-old Hannah Warren in the United States. Unfortunately, she faced complications and passed away in July 2013.
  11. Sadiq Kanaan: In 2013, Sadiq Kanaan received a synthetic seeded trachea from Macchiarini in Russia but died later that year.
  12. Dmitri Onogda: In 2014, Macchiarini implanted a synthetic seeded trachea in Dmitri Onogda in Russia. After a replacement, the first implant failed, but Onogda was still alive as of 2017.

Allegations and Criminal Investigations

Paolo Macchiarini faced serious problems and investigations:

  1. Patient Extortion: In 2012, he got arrested in Italy for allegedly asking patients at AOUC (Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi) for money to speed up their procedures. The charges were dropped in May 2015.
  2. Research Misconduct: In 2014, he was accused of falsifying claims in his research at KI. Investigations found that he committed research misconduct in seven papers by not following ethical procedures and misrepresenting results. Despite the controversy, KI’s vice-chancellor initially said he acted without due care but did not commit misconduct. However, a later documentary raised more concerns, leading KI to re-open investigations.
  3. Legal Troubles: In 2019, an Italian court sentenced Macchiarini to 16 months in prison for abuse of office and forging documents, but he was later acquitted by the Supreme Court.
  4. Assault Charges: In 2020, the director of Public Prosecution in Sweden indicted Macchiarini on charges of aggravated assault. He was convicted of causing bodily harm in June 2022 but received a suspended sentence. In June 2023, his sentence was increased to two years and six months imprisonment after an appeals court found him guilty of gross assault. His appeal to the Supreme Court was declined in October 2023.

Personal Life

Paolo Macchiarini and his wife Emanuela Pecchia
Paolo Macchiarini and his wife Emanuela Pecchia

Paolo Macchiarini married Emanuela Pecchia in 1986, and they have two children.

Macchiarini also has another child (daughter) from Ana Paula Bernardes. They met in 2010 when Macchiarini operated on Bernardes’ son, who sadly passed away. Their relationship ended in 2016 when Bernardes learned about Macchiarini’s involvement with NBC News producer Benita Alexander.

Benita Alexander was making a documentary about Macchiarini in 2013 and ended up having a relationship with him. Later, in 2015, she discovered he had been married for thirty years, including their time together.

Macchiarini allegedly lied about being a surgeon for famous people and claimed connections to former U.S. Presidents such as Barrack Obama Bill Clinton, and other prominent figures such as the former United States secretary of state and politician Hillary Clinton.

There were even plans for a grand wedding with Pope Francis officiating, but this turned out to be untrue, and the Pope’s spokesperson denied any knowledge of Macchiarini.

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