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UConn Claims Resveratrol Researcher Falsified Work

The already shaky case for the anti-aging powers of resveratrol, a substance in red wine, is looking a little shakier.

After a three-year investigation, the University of Connecticut Health Center has told 11 scientific journals that studies they published by resveratrol researcher Dipak K. Das may not be trustworthy.

In 2008, the university got a tip about irregularities in Das' work. The subsequent investigation identified "145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data," according to a UConn statement. (A summary of the report is here.)

While some have said Das' work on resveratrol wasn't as influential as some by other researchers, "the guy was proflic and his work was widely cited," says Adam Marcus, co-founder of the blog Retraction Watch and editor of Anesthesiology News. Retraction Watch has more on Das' influence, or lack of it, here.

To be sure, there haven't been retractions of Das' published work. But the university is freezing research in his lab that is funded by outside groups and is refusing $890,000 in federal grant awarded to Das. UConn is also moving to dismiss him from the faculty.

Shots called a number listed for Das' home West Hartford, Conn., but got no answer.

In a statement sent to Retraction Watch, a lawyer who said he represents Das contested UConn's claims. The university's "allegations against him can be 'easily refuted' and that the charges against him involve prejudice within the university against Indian researchers," the statement said.

Separately, the Chronicle of Higher Education posted responses by Das to the university in 2010.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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