What's one to make of a cancer genomics researcher called Anil Potti?
He claimed research results that other scientists have not been able to reproduce, that seem to have suffered from relatively basic statistical mistakes. These results were actually used to treat patients. This, say critics, "may be putting patients at risk."
He claimed to be a Rhodes Scholar at a nonexistent institute in Queensland, Australia, mentored there by a scientist who never mentored him and was "shocked, saddened and flabbergasted" to find out that Potti claimed it. Rhodes scholarships are only for study at Oxford University in the UK. (I think even I knew that). This claim to a prestigious international award bolstered his applications for faculty positions and grants.
When asked about the Rhodes scholarship, he said he was nominated for the award. As far as I know, he has not explained Australia.
He claimed that in 1998 he was given an award by a professional society. The society says they gave it to him only in 2005.
He claimed to have been a "National Merit Scholar" in 1989, the year he claims to have started a MBBS programme at Christian Medical College in Vellore. Elsewhere, he claimed he was a National Merit Scholar in 1995, the year he graduated from CMC.
There's more. This man has spent several years at Duke University, bringing "millions of public and private dollars" in research money to that institution. It raises questions about just how institutions and grant awarders verify applications they receive. Not very well, it would appear.
(Lots of sources for all this, but the most comprehensive report is probably at the Cancer Letter, here -- PDF, 668K)