Resveratrol Researcher Falsified 145 Studies

Resveratrol Researcher Falsified 145 Studies

January 13th, 2012 // 1:14 pm @

If you were skeptical about the links between a substance found in red wine and developing a fountain-of-youth pill, you have still more reason today. A University of Connecticut researcher named Dipak Das, who studied those supposed links and directed the school’s cardiovascular research center, fabricated or falsified research data as many as 145 times.

The focus of his work was resveratrol, which sparked considerable interest among numerous scientists and drugmakers as a way to slow the aging process. GlaxoSmithKline, for instance, three years ago paid $720 million for Sirtris, which was developing a compound, but later pulled the plug on one version of a drug because the results were disappointing results (see here).

An anonymous tip led the university to investigate three years ago, actually, according to a university statement. A 60,000-page report – a summary is available here – contains all 145 counts of fabricated and falsified data. Other members of his lab may have been involved and are being investigated, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, the university has decided to decline $890,000 in federal grants that were awarded to Das and is in the process of dismissing him; Das has been employed at the university since 1984 and was awarded tenure in 1993. As part of the process, the university is working the NIH Office of Research Integrity, which investigates alleged misconduct by federal grant recipients.

The university has also alerted 11 medical journals that published his work. These include the American Journal of Physiology – Heart & Circulatory; Antioxidants & Redox Signaling; Cellular Physiology & Biochemistry; the Journal of Cellular & Molecular Medicine; the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry; the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, and Molecular & Cellular Cardiology.

His work has generated notice. Reuters points out that 30 of his papers were cited more than 100 times each and, last year, he won an award from the International Association of Cardiologists. Meanwhile, a Las Vegas supplements maker, Longevenix, has promoted his work and he appears in a video discussing resveratrol as the next aspiring, Reuters writes.

In a letter last year, Das wrote to university officials that the investigation was a “conspiracy” and that his work was “repeated by many scientists all over the world… As you know, because of the development of a tremendous amount of stress in my work environment in recent months, I became a victim of stroke for which I am undergoing treatment,” he wrote .

You can read more on Retraction Watch, which reports that Das has apparently been relieved of his duties as editor in chief of Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, although an attorney representing the scientist maintains the charges reflect bias against Indian researchers

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