Inder Mohan Verma
28 November 1947
Sangrur, Punjab, India
|Alma mater||Lucknow University|
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Weizmann Institute of Science
|Known for||Cancer, gene therapy, NF-kB|
|Awards||Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1997)|
EMBO Member (1998)
|Institutions||Salk Institute for Biological Studies|
|Academic advisors||David 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 and the University of California, San Diego. 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, but stepped down after being named in a gender discrimination lawsuit against the Salk Institute. 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. The American Association for the Advancement of Science removed his Fellow title after the allegations were confirmed.