Potti Mystery: Did He Win Humanitarian Award or Didn't He?

Like everything else involving Dr. Anil Potti, there is more than one version.

36 hours ago Fact Checker posted a new press release stating a New Jersey foundation set up by a former Columbia University medical professor, the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, had given Potti its Leonard B. Tow "Humanism in Medicine" award.

The award apparently is given in many schools around the nation.

Our initial post stated up top that we had been unable to reach the foundation for confirmation. Indeed on Tuesday morning bright and early, we left messages with the foundation's receptionist for the director of communication to call us when she came in a little later. 90 minutes later, we left urgent, specific voice mail messages for the foundation president and its communications director -- and now a day and a half later we have heard nothing back.

Michael Schoenfeld, Duke's PR vice president, also did not respond to a Deputy Fact Checker's sending him e-mail which included the press release. And in unrelated correspondence with Duke's Chancellor Victor Dzau and its chief of genome studies Huntington Willard on Tuesday, both indicated they had not heard of the award.

Loyal Readers came forward. One offered a copy of Potti's resume as he was transitioning to Duke from training at the University of North Dakota -- that states he won the award in 2003.

It's possible he won by nomination at the University of North Dakota, which would be unusual since the award typically goes to a senior professor.

We do have an on-line directory of Duke faculty shows that several senior professors were nominated by Duke in 2003, not including Potti, and someone else won.