November 21, 2019

Eight Salk professors named among most highly cited researchers in the world

Researchers make the prestigious list of “Most Influential Scientific Minds” with papers ranking in the top 1 percent by citations

Salk News


Eight Salk professors named among most highly cited researchers in the world

Researchers make the prestigious list of “Most Influential Scientific Minds” with papers ranking in the top 1 percent by citations

LA JOLLA—Salk Professors Joanne Chory, Joseph Ecker, Ronald Evans, Rusty Gage, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, Terrence SejnowskiReuben Shaw and Kay Tye have been named to the Highly Cited Researchers list by Clarivate Analytics. The list selects researchers for demonstrating “significant and broad influence” reflected by the production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1 percent by citations for field and year.

“The Highly Cited Researchers list contributes to the identification of that small fraction of the researcher population that significantly extends the frontiers of knowledge,” says David Pendlebury, senior citation analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information. “These researchers create gains for society, innovation and knowledge that make the world healthier, richer, more sustainable and more secure.”

Such consistent production of highly cited reports indicates that the work of these researchers has been repeatedly judged by their peers to be of notable significance and utility, as based on data from the Web of Science, the world’s largest publisher-neutral citation index, with over 1.4 billion cited references going back to 1900. This year’s list, which covers the period of 2008-2018, includes 6,216 researchers, recognizes researchers across multiple fields whose citation records position them in the highest ranks of influence.

Salk Professors Joanne Chory, Joseph Ecker and Rusty Gage have been named to this list every year since 2014, when the regular annual rankings began. Joining their ranks this year are Professors Ronald Evans, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, Terrence Sejnowski, Reuben Shaw and Kay Tye. The Salk faculty are primarily listed in the category of Molecular Biology and Genetics, while Ecker is also listed in Plant and Animal Science and Gage is also listed in Neuroscience and Behavior, along with Tye.

Joanne Chory
Chory is a professor and director of Salk’s Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and holder of the Howard H. and Maryam R. Newman Chair in Plant Biology. Chory has won numerous awards for her work in—and is currently spearheading Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative—a bold effort to use plants to absorb increased amounts of carbon to help stem global warming.

Joseph Ecker
Ecker is a professor in Salk’s Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory and director of the Genomic Analysis Laboratory. He was the first to show that the epigenome is highly dynamic in brain cells during the transition from birth to adulthood. Currently, Ecker is the recipient of multiple National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative grants, and he is charting the epigenetic differences between brain cell types to better understand disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Ronald Evans
Evans, a professor and director of the Gene Expression Laboratory, is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and holds the March of Dimes Chair in Molecular and Developmental Biology. He is a participant in Salk’s Conquering Cancer Initiative, which seeks new strategies against the deadliest cancers. Evans’ groundbreaking development of a synthetic vitamin D therapy for pancreatic cancer is currently in clinical trials. He was also cited as a top researcher in a recent report from the journal PLOS Biology.

Rusty Gage
Gage, a professor in the Laboratory of Genetics and holder of the Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Disease, is the president of the Salk Institute. He discovered that the adult brain continues to produce new neurons throughout the life span in a process known as neurogenesis, and was also cited as a top researcher by PLOS Biology. Most recently he, along with several Salk researchers, was awarded an American Heart Association-Allen Initiative in Brain Health grant to pursue a new collaborative approach to understanding, detecting and potentially treating Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline.

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte
Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory and holder of the Roger Guillemin Chair, is an authority on stem-cell biology and regenerative medicine. Named one of TIME magazine’s “50 Most Influential People in Health Care” for 2018, Izpisua Belmonte has pioneered cutting-edge gene-editing technologies, epigenetic editing methods, and stem-cell techniques.

Terrence Sejnowski
Sejnowski is a professor in and laboratory head of the Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, and holds the Francis Crick Chair. He is a recipient of a National Science Foundation grant for neuroscience research and has made a number of discoveries about the brain, including that its memory capacity is 10 times greater than previously thought.

Reuben Shaw
Shaw, a professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory and holder of the William R. Brody Chair, is the director of the Salk Cancer Center and a recipient of the National Cancer Institute Outstanding Investigator Award. He is leading Salk’s Conquering Cancer Initiative, and recently discovered two therapeutic targets for a deadly cancer known as non-small-cell lung cancer.

Kay Tye
Tye is a professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratory and holder of the Wylie Vale Chair. She seeks to understand the neural-circuit basis of emotion that leads to motivated behaviors such as social interaction, reward-seeking and avoidance. She recently published a paper describing her discovery of a brain circuit that controls alcohol drinking behavior in mice, and can be used as a biomarker for predicting the development of compulsive drinking later on.

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