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September 23, 2017

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Med school VP resigns over forgery accusations

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Kaohsiung Medical University said Monday it respects its Vice President Kuo Min-liang's (郭明良) decision to resign over accusations that he forged portions of his research, after Kuo submitted his resignation letter Monday morning.

Kuo is also a professor at National Taiwan University's (NTU) Institute of Biochemical Sciences.

He was caught amid a scandal that has swept through the nation's academic institutions and has seen as many as 11 research papers authored by esteemed professors implicated in academic fraud, including those authored by Kuo's research team and NTU President Yang Pan-chyr (楊畔池),

The accusation was first made by PubPeer, a website that allows users to discuss and review scientific research and allows academics to engage in post-publication peer review.

It charged that Kuo's research papers were "problematic," giving rise to public accusations of forgery.

Kaohsiung Medical University said Monday that the school "respected" Kuo's decision and that his resignation would take effect after it underwent administrative review, which normally takes one to two weeks.

The school said Kuo's tenure as the university's vice president was scheduled to continue through June 2018.

He has asked to be put on leave since the forgery scandal was exposed earlier this month.

The school also said in its official statement that Kuo's resignation would not affect students' education because he is not employed as a lecturer this semester.

Kuo has resigned from his position as a professor at NTU and gave his verbal resignation as Kaohsiung Medical University's vice president last week.

NTU said it had formed a special task force consisting of Academia Sinica scholars to investigate the forgery scandal.

The forgery scandal initiated a wave of mistrust against the nation's academic field this month.

NTU President Yang Pan-chyr (楊畔池) attempted to clear his name last week to a legislative committee and said that he "would resign as president if the research papers (he co-authored) were fake."

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