Salk Institute suspends Indian-American cancer scientist for alleged misconduct
A prominent Indian-American cancer and gene therapy scientist in the US has been placed on administrative leave following allegations of "inappropriate conduct" against him. Inder Verma, cancer and gene therapy scientist at the prestigious Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation into the allegations against him. Here's more.
Institute did not give any reason for suspending Verma
The institute did not give any reason for suspending 70-year-old Verma, who is considered as one of the world's leading authorities on gene therapy and cancer. The institute has hired The Rose Group, a San Diego based international employment law and consulting firm, to investigate allegations, not yet made public, that were reported to the institute in February.
A formal investigation is going on regarding the allegations
"Recently, the institute became aware of allegations concerning Inder Verma. Consistent with Salk's policies governing workplace conduct, the institute has undertaken a formal investigation that is being led by an independent outside party," Dan Lewis, chairman of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies said.
Action taken as outcome of the investigation is pending
"Verma has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. He'll not be performing scientific or administrative roles on behalf of the institute during this period," Lewis said, without referring to the nature of the investigation. The action against Verma comes nearly months after he was placed on temporary leave as the editor of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Allegations were first reported by a Science magazine
The allegations of inappropriate conduct against Inder Verma were first reported by a science magazine, according to which last summer, three female Salk senior scientists sued the Institute for gender discrimination calling it an "old boys club" that had systematically impeded their careers only because they were women. The lawsuits are set to go to trial in December.
Verma has denied the allegations
Verma told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the leave had stemmed from the lawsuits that Salk professors filed against the Institute in July. Verma, 70, who is also on the boards of several Indian scientific institutes, has however denied the allegations.Share this timeline