CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia University officials are not releasing details about allegations that a former professor in the university’s School of Public Health was hired with false credentials.
According to a report by NBC News, Anoop Shankar, former chairman of WVU’s Epidemiology Department, lied about several aspects of his rèsumè — including that he had a Ph.D and was a member of the prestigious Royal College of Physicians.
He also allegedly lied about which medical school he attended in India, plagiarized scholarly publications and forged references.
Shankar was forced out at WVU in 2012, after a professor in the School of Public Health found dozens of fraudulent claims in his rèsumè, according to NBC.
“As soon as anything came into question about [Shankar’s] credentials, investigations began,” WVU spokesman John Bolt said Wednesday. “We informed folks internally and externally as soon as it became clear there were problems. That’s why he’s not here anymore.”
Bolt would not comment further, calling the issue a personnel matter, but he said WVU “followed all applicable law” when questions were raised about Shankar’s credentials, and officials reached out to law enforcement and appropriate research-funding agencies.
“Dr. Shankar no longer works at WVU. However, many of the specific issues raised at this stage remain confidential personnel matters, and the university is not at liberty to discuss them,” Bolt said. “When it is possible, and all facts are clear and known, the university may have more to say.”
While at WVU, Shankar was among the researchers who worked on the C8 Health Project, a group effort to analyze data from thousands of Mid-Ohio Valley residents to determine if they had been made sick by drinking water that DuPont Co.’s Parkersburg plant had contaminated with the chemical C8, which is used to make nonstick and stain-resistant products…