Two Professors Leave Johns Hopkins over Misconduct
Two Professors Leave Johns Hopkins over Misconduct

Two Professors Leave Johns Hopkins over Misconduct

The university investigated faculty members from the Department of Anthropology and the School of Medicine for sexual harassment, firing one and recommending another be fired.

Jul 24, 2019
Chia-Yi Hou

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Two professors have left Johns Hopkins University after they were investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct, reports The Baltimore Sun. The university released two emails, one explaining the termination of Juan Obarrio of the Department of Anthropology and a second letter that went to the entire campus describing his departure and that of another unnamed faculty member from the School of Medicine, according to the Sun,which obtained the emails on Monday (July 22). 

Obarrio was under investigation for an incident with a visiting student in May 2018, reports the Sun. Witnesses tell the newspaper that he grabbed the student and dragged her towards the exit of a bar as she tried to get away from him. The Johns Hopkins committee that investigated this matter voted to revoke his tenure and terminate his faculty appointment.

The university investigated a second faculty member under separate circumstances. He was found to have engaged in “sexual harassment of a student, abusive and bullying behavior toward trainees, and other inappropriate behaviors,” states the email. The letter does not name this faculty member, but says he was a full professor at the School of Medicine who “resigned of his own accord following a recommendation of termination by the advisory board.” 

On Twitter, some Johns Hopkins graduate students, including Kyle Cavagnini, who was president of the Graduate Student Association during the investigation, have named the second faculty member as Sinisa Urban from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. Cavagnini and a person familiar with the matter confirmed to The Scientist that it was Urban. 


Urban is no longer listed as a School of Medicine faculty member, and an email to his university address went unanswered.

Chia-Yi Hou is an intern at The Scientist. Email her at chou@the-scientist.com.