Inder Verma
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Inder Verma

Inder Verma
Inder Mohan Verma

(1947-11-28) 28 November 1947 (age 73)
Sangrur, Punjab, India
Alma materLucknow University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Weizmann Institute of Science
Known forCancer, gene therapy, NF-kB
AwardsMember of the National Academy of Sciences (1997)[1]
EMBO Member (1998)[2]
Scientific career
FieldsMolecular Biology
InstitutionsSalk Institute for Biological Studies
Academic advisorsDavid Baltimore

Inder Mohan Verma (born 28 November 1947) is an Indian American molecular biologist, the former Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies[3] and the University of California, San Diego.[4][5] He is recognized for seminal discoveries in the fields of cancer, immunology, and gene therapy.

Verma was the editor-in-chief of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) from 2011 to 2018,[6] but stepped down after being named in a gender discrimination lawsuit against the Salk Institute.[7] In April 2018 the Salk institute placed him on leave for "unspecified allegations"; Verma himself stated that the leave was connected to the same lawsuit,[8] but it came shortly before publication of an exposé alleging decades-long sexual harassment and assault of multiple women by Verma. In June 2018 he resigned his position at the Salk Institute, before the board of trustees of the institute could take action regarding these allegations.[9]

Early life and education

Inder M. Verma was born in 1947 in Sangrur, Punjab, India and educated at Lucknow University. He received his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel in 1971.

Career and research

After his PhD, Verma conducted his postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Nobel laureate David Baltimore at MIT. In 1974, Verma joined the Salk Institute as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1979, and Professor in 1985. He also holds an Adjunct Professor appointment at the University of California, San Diego. Among his professional activities, he is a member of the Board of Scientific Governors of The Scripps Research Institute. He is currently[when?] at the center of a lawsuit alleging systematic discrimination against women scientists at the Salk Institute.[10]

Verma is a recognized leaders in gene therapy, retrovirology, and cancer. His work on viruses and cancer led to the identification of several oncogenes,[] including c-fos, and their function in normal cells. His development of virus mediated gene transfer techniques, including a stripped down version of HIV, has become the foundation for gene therapy to cure several congenital as well as adult onset diseases including cancer. The viral vectors are routinely used in molecular biology laboratories.

Awards and honors

Personal life

He married Grietje van der Woude in 1973. They have a daughter Simone, who lives in La Jolla. They have twin granddaughters, Sophie and Marijke.

Allegations of sexual harassment

In April 2018, Science published accounts by eight women who accuse Verma of sexual harassment from 1976 to 2016. On 20 April 2018 Salk's board of trustees put Verma on administrative leave, 2 days after receiving a list of questions from Science concerning the allegations and the institute's responses to previous complaints about Verma's behavior.[16] The American Association for the Advancement of Science removed his Fellow title after the allegations were confirmed.[17][18]


  1. ^ a b "Inder Verma". Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Find people in the EMBO Communities". Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Salk Institute Faculty Directory". Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "UCSD Biology Faculty Directory". Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ Inder Verma publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ Tong, Amber (12 June 2018). "Prominent cancer biologist Inder Verma resigns from Salk in wake of sexual harassment allegations". Endpoints News. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Robbins, Gary (28 December 2017), "Renowned Salk Institute scientist loses a top post due to gender discrimination claims", Los Angeles Times
  8. ^ Robbins, Gary (21 April 2018), "Salk Institute places a star geneticist on leave over allegations about his conduct", Los Angeles Times
  9. ^ Wadman, Meredith (2018). "Leading Salk scientist resigns after allegations of harassment". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aau4429. ISSN 0036-8075.
  10. ^ Wadman, Meredith (2017). "UPDATED: Two female scientists sue Salk Institute, alleging discrimination at 'old boys club'". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aan7111. ISSN 0036-8075.
  11. ^ "ASGCT press release". Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 2012.
  12. ^ "Vilcek Foundation press release". Retrieved 2012.
  13. ^ "APS member directory". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 2012.
  14. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter V" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2012.
  15. ^ "IOM member directory". Archived from the original on 10 December 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  16. ^ Wadman, Meredith (2018). "Famed cancer biologist allegedly sexually harassed women for decades". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aau0036. ISSN 0036-8075.
  17. ^ Wadman, Meredith (2018). "AAAS adopts new policy for ejecting harassers". Science. 361 (6408): 1175. Bibcode:2018Sci...361.1175W. doi:10.1126/science.361.6408.1175. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 30237333.
  18. ^ Wadman, Meredith (2018). "Salk puts cancer scientist Inder Verma on leave after harassment allegations, announces investigation". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aat9542. ISSN 0036-8075.

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