Disgraced resveratrol researcher: “Uni of Connecticut launched a conspiracy programme against Indians”

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Research

Dr Das
Dr Das
Dr Dipak K Das, PhD, the once lauded and now infamous resveratrol researcher accused by his longtime employer the University of Connecticut of fabricating data over seven years in more than 25 individual studies, says he is the victim of a racist campaign to smear him by the institution.

In an email to NutraIngredients from a hospital bed in India after suffering his third stroke, Dr Das broke his silence on the affair to lambast the University that has publicly named and shamed him and frozen almost $900,000 in research funds slated for studies under his tutelage.

“I am sorry I have been unable to talk,”​ Dr Das, from UConn’s Cardiovascular Research Center, said. “I have just had a third stroke and so I have been on sick leave for the past month when everything happened.”

“I happen to be the chief”

He said the University’s 3-year investigation in conjunction with the US Office of Research Integrity was built upon a racist agenda, noting a longstanding dispute with another researcher as a likely motivation.

UConn launched a conspiracy program against Asian Indians,”​ the antioxidant researcher said from India where he will remain under doctor’s orders for at least another week while he recuperates.

“There are six more Indians on their hit list. The accusations are all a bunch of lies and Indians are being framed. I happen to be the chief.”

Resveratrol on hold

University spokesperson, Chris DeFrancesco, said UConn was aware of the racism allegations but had no comment while dismissal proceedings against Dr Das were still underway. He confirmed six colleagues of Dr Das were also the subject of an inquiry.

UConn's resveratrol programme was "on hold" ​until the dismissal process was completed, ​he said, noting Dr Das was, "the biggest researcher in that area here at the university."

"But our focus now is to make sure the academic record is clear and that is why we issued the notice to the eleven journals that had published the data. It's an example of how a checking system works."

“Flagrant”

In that initial statement, the university labeled Dr Das's alleged abuse of research principles as “flagrant”.

“While we are deeply disappointed by the flagrant disregard for the University’s Code of Conduct, we are pleased the oversight systems in place were effective and worked as intended,”​ said Philip Austin, interim vice president for health affairs.

“We are grateful that an individual chose to do the right thing by alerting the appropriate authorities. Our findings were the result of an exhaustive investigation that, by its very nature, required considerable time to complete.”

Dr Das, via his Californian lawyer, Scott Tips, implied the 145 fabrications of Western Blot image data in the 26 papers were made on his computer by a fellow researcher involved in the ‘conspiracy’ who had access to his office.

Others defending Dr Das said alteration of Western Blot data is commonplace in academia for the sake of clarity and did not necessarily indicate foul play.

“Special mind”

But others like Alex Schauss, PhD, senior research director at AIBMR Life Sciences, in Washington State said the report was damning of Dr Das’s research methods.

“Once or twice maybe. 26 times? That takes a special mind,”​ Schauss said of Dr Das’s resveratrol–cardiovascular work.

“It is his responsibility as lead researcher to closely scrutinise the data, I know I spend hours going through every single page to ensure the data stands up so if the data was being fabricated by someone else, why did he not notice it?”

Schauss said any health claims based on the data may also now be discounted and hinted that the primary financial sponsor of the trials, the US National Institutes of Health, may seek restitution.

The 11 journals that published the 26 papers were:

  • American Journal of Physiology – Heart & Circulatory
  • Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Antioxidants & Redox Signaling
  • Cellular Physiology & Biochemistry
  • Free Radical Biology
  • Free Radical Research
  • Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
  • Journal of Cellular & Molecular Medicine
  • Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Molecular & Cellular Cardiology
  • Molecular & Cellular Chemistry

A summary of the investigation findings can be found here.

The statement from Dr Das’s lawyer can be found here.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Is green the new colour for lutein?

Is green the new colour for lutein?

LEHVOSS Nutrition– Gee Lawson | 04-Nov-2019 | Application Note

Green solvents minimise the environmental impact resulting from the use of industrial solvents in the chemical raw material production. Green solvents...

Phytosome: the biomimetic delivery system

Phytosome: the biomimetic delivery system

Indena: the botanical ingredient of Health Food industry | 07-Oct-2019 | Application Note

Bioavailability is widely recognized as a central issue in the nutraceutical field. With almost a century of history on scientific know-how on its site,...

Related suppliers

1 comment

TEH BIG DANGER FOR PHARMA INDUSTRY:NATURAL MOLECULE

Posted by Gabriel Riga,

Maybe the truth behind this is only known by the BIG PHARMA UNION.
No doubt that Dr.Das was and is a real danger for them all.
As one Nobel Prize winner said, they are not interested in curing but in making money..
Dr.Das, I am SURE that you are a straight and honest man.But you, as others, are a danger for the powerful.Stay in your country.Try to duplicate the research there.We will be waiting. India is now one TOP NATION. And you are a TOP HUMAN BEING. I am alive thanks to you and few others alike.

THANKS

Report abuse

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars