UConn Health Center: Professor falsified data

A three-year investigation has determined that a tenured professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center fabricated and falsified data, the university announced Wednesday.

The health center has begun dismissal proceedings against Dipak K. Das, director of the Cardiovascular Research Center and a professor in the department of surgery. It has notified 11 scientific journals that have published studies Das has conducted, frozen all externally funded research in his lab, and declined $890,000 in federal grants that he was awarded.

The investigation, which looked at more than seven years of work in his lab, found that Das was guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data, according to the university. Das has worked at the health center since 1984 and received tenure in 1993. He has researched the beneficial properties of resveratrol, a substance found in red wine.

The investigation began after an anonymous allegation of research irregularities in 2008. There are also inquiries underway about former members of Das' lab, according to the university, but no findings have been issued.

The U.S. Office of Research Integrity is now conducting an independent investigation, according to UConn.

"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," Philip Austin, the university's interim vice president for health affairs, said in a statement. "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."

Das could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.