Was it too good to be true? For years, Dipak Das, a University of Connecticut professor and researcher, published studies touting the health benefits of consuming red wine. Now the university has accused him of falsifying data and is seeking his dismissal, according to Wine Spectator. It’s unclear which studies may be compromised.
The university’s health center is citing extensive research misconduct in Das’ studies after a three-year investigation into research published in 11 scientific journals. “We have a responsibility to correct the scientific record and inform peer researchers across the country,” said Philip Austin, interim vice president for health affairs at the University of Connecticut.
Das, a professor in the department of surgery and director of the cardiovascular research center, conducted those studies over a period of seven years. In one study, he credited resveratrol and anthocyanidins, both compounds found in grape skins, with red wine’s observed cardiovascular benefits. Another found that resveratrol helps stem cells repair damage to hearts. It is not yet clear which of Das’ studies are suspect.
On the outside, the studies appear legitimate, with all appropriate protocols followed. Das’ research had to survive the peer-review process in order to be published.
But an anonymous tip in 2008 to the university regarding research irregularities triggered the investigation. “The comprehensive report, which totals approximately 60,000 pages, concludes that Das is guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data.”