Administrators at the George Washington University School of Public Health allowed Mark Geier, a notorious anti-vaccine activist known for chemically castrating disabled children, to supervise a graduate student. Geier is currently banned from practicing medicine.
Graduate students are required to complete a practicum under the supervision of a health professional, called a site preceptor. The school’s site preceptor handbook sets out requirements for a practicum site:
- Serves a public health or health services mission or supports a department with such a mission
- Addresses significant public health or health services problems
- Offers students the opportunity to learn from public health professionals in a supervised environment
Geier and his son, David, work out of a Silver Spring, Maryland home, less than 10 miles from the GWU campus. They previously operated clinics across the U.S. to promote treatment of autism with Lupron, an injectable hormone inhibitor, charging parents as much as $6,000 per month. The drug is approved to treat prostate cancer, and has been used to “chemically castrate” sex offenders.
The Maryland medical board revoked Geier’s license in Aug., 2012, commenting that Geier’s conduct “constituted a substantial likelihood of a risk of serious harm to the public health, safety and welfare based on the physician’s experimental treatment of autistic children with Lupron.”
Geier had been licensed in 12 states. Those licenses have either been revoked, or allowed to expire. The Maryland Board of Physicians suspended Geier’s medical license on April 22, 2011. Two weeks later, the Washington Post reported:
A Rockville doctor’s medical license has been suspended in Maryland over allegations of putting children with autism at risk, and state officials are seeking to remove his son from a state commission that advises the governor on the disorder.
The officials were also struggling to explain why Mark Geier’s son, David Geier, who has an undergraduate degree in biology and does not have a medical license, was identified by the Commission on Autism as its “diagnostician.” The commission’s Web site had listed him as a doctor until Wednesday, which officials said was a clerical error.
“Under the circumstances, we do not believe it’s appropriate for David Geier to serve on the autism commission,” said David Paulson, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “Unfortunately, he declined to resign his commission. .?.?. As a result, we are considering the appropriate next steps.”
GWU School of Public Health administrators were apparently unaware of, or ignored Geier’s legal problems, during a period when he was acting as site preceptor for at least one graduate student, AutismNewsBeat has learned. That student studied at the college from 2011-2013. The student’s name is deliberately omitted from this story, and readers who comment are asked to refrain from identifying the student.
Geier’s unethical conduct was first uncovered by Kathleen Seidel, who posted a 15-part series at her Neurodiversity blog, between June, 2006 and May, 2007. The series was titled Significant Misrepresentations: Mark Geier, David Geier & the Evolution of the Lupron Protocol. In the first story, Seidel wrote that David Geier’s byline on a study published in the journal Hormone Research in May, 2006, indicated he was a GWU Department of Biochemistry faculty member or graduate student.
According to the conventions of academic publishing, this would generally imply that (David) Geier is a member of the faculty at GWU, or a graduate student publishing with a thesis advisor or other faculty member in the same department; and that GWU is the venue at which Mr. Geier’s share of the research took place.
David Geier’s most advanced degree is a BA in Biology from another institution. Seidel reported that David Geier enrolled in GWU’s graduate biochemistry program in 2003, and took two courses in during the 2003-2004 school year. He took the last of three public health courses during the Spring 2005 semester.
An email to Mark Geier, asking if he has acted as site preceptor for other graduate students, has not been answered.