Former professor accused of stealing research, selling it for millions

The University of Missouri System announced last week it is suing former pharmacy professor Dr. Ashim Mitra for stealing and selling a student’s research. In January, Dr. Mitra resigned amid accusations of using students to perform “slave labor” tasks.

Former pharmacy professor Ashim Mitra

According to an official statement released by UMKC, the lawsuit alleges several complaints against Dr. Mitra, including:

  • Stealing and selling UMKC-owned inventions
  • Assisting companies in patenting and commercializing the stolen inventions
  • Denying credit to a student who worked on the invention
  • Financially benefiting from his actions

The UM System claims Mitra defrauded the school of millions, though he denies these allegations.

The former student referred to in the lawsuit, Kishore Cholkar, worked extensively on the project to develop what the lawsuit calls a “ground-breaking” drug. However, he received no credit for his work.

The Kansas City Star reports that the lawsuit alleges Mitra already reaped $1.5 million from his illegal sales, with the potential to earn $10 million more from royalties in the next five years.

“UMKC looks forward to vigorously pursuing these claims in court,” said UMKC Media Relations Director John Martellaro in a statement issued to the Star.

The lawsuit is part of the university’s ongoing investigation into Mitra.

cae6xc@mail.umkc.edu

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