Dipak K. Das
Dipak Kumar Das (1947 – September 19, 2013) was the director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. Das is known for his work on the beneficial properties of resveratrol, which is found in red wine, but at least twenty of his research papers have been retracted.
On January 11, 2012 the University of Connecticut Health Center announced that a review board has found Das guilty of 145 counts of fabrication or falsification of data. The three-year investigation examined more than seven years of activity in Das’s lab, and centered on Western blot results that had been manipulated and used in published papers. The investigation into Das was sparked by an anonymous allegation of research irregularities in 2008. In May 2012, Das was fired from both positions at the University of Connecticut Health Center. He then sued for $35 million in damages, citing libel.
Das was a prolific publisher of research. His name appears on over 500 articles, including 117 articles on resveratrol. Das was an editor-in-chief of the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signaling. He also served as associate editor of the American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology and consulting editor of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry. His work on alcohol, HDL, and the heart was mentioned in The New York Times. He also gained attention in 2009 after publishing a study on the heart benefits of crushed garlic. Dipak died on September 19, 2013.
Data falsification investigation
The data fabrication began in 2005 when "there was no one in the lab with the expertise to prepare Western blots." UConn investigators revealed that "many figures had more manipulations but, for expediency, the review board only noted the most obvious" in flagging 145 cases of misconduct. The report stated that "given the large number of irregularities discovered, which were done over several years and in several different ways, the review board can only conclude that they were the result of intentional acts of data falsification and fabrication, designed to deceive."
In January 2012, University of Connecticut officials reported that dismissal proceedings were underway against Das. The Health Center has frozen all research in Das’s laboratory and declined to accept federal grants awarded to him.
Court case and legal representation
It was reported by the Hartford Courant in January 2013 that Das wanted to file a $35 million defamation lawsuit against UConn. He died before the case went to court.
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