Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jacobs School Faculty Among the Most Influential Scientists in the World

Several Jacobs School professors have been named among the most influential scientists in the world by Thomson Reuters. Congratulations to Bernhard Palsson in bioengineering, Yuri Bazilevs in structural engineering and Joseph Wang in nanoengineering.

The list compiles the most highly cited  researchers in the sciences and social sciences from 2002-2013. An excerpt from the report:

Spotlighting some of the standout researchers of the last decade, Thomson Reuters has launched Highly Cited Researchers, a compilation of influential names in science. Deriving from InCites Essential Science Indicators, a subset of the Web of Science, Highly Cited Researchers presents more than 3,000 authors in 21 main fields of science and the social sciences. These researchers earned the distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers—ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication—between 2002 and 2012. Thus, the listings of Highly Cited Researchers feature authors whose published work in their specialty areas has consistently been judged by peers to be of particular significance and utility.  It is precisely this type of recognition, recognition by peers, in the form of citations, that makes their status meaningful. The identification of these individuals is rooted in the collective, objective opinions of the scientific community. fellow scientists, through their citations, give credit to these people and their work.
Bernhard Palsson was recognized in the field of biology and biochemistry. Palsson's Systems Biology Research Group at the Jacobs School uses experimental and computational models to study cellular life. Systems biology leverages the power of high-powered computing to build vast interactive databases of biological information. Most recently, the group's analysis of metabolic pathways of 55 strains of E. Coli could prove useful in developing ways to control deadly E. coli infections and to learn more about how certain strains of the bacteria become virulent. Last year, an international consortium of scientists led by an alumnae of the Palsson group produced the most comprehensive virtual reconstruction of human metabolism to date. Dubbed Recon 2 and likened to a Google map of human metabolism, it could be used to identify causes of and new treatments for diseases like cancer, diabetes and even psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. The consortium built on pioneering work by Palsson's team, which built the first virtual reconstruction of the network in 2007.

Yuri Bazilevs was recognized for his contributions to the field of computer science. Bazilevs, a professor of structural engineering, focuses on computational science and engineering to develop methods for large-scale, high-performance computing applications. For example, he is working with other researchers to create blood flow simulations that could lead to improvements in the design of a cardiac pump for children born with heart defects. They hope that the design changes will improve young patients' outcomes.

Joseph Wang was recognized for his work in both chemistry and engineering. Wang's work in nanobioelectronic sensors is enabling research in the field of wearable sensors for applications in medicine, military and security, and preventative health and fitness. His pioneering nanomotors research has led to advanced nanomachines for biomedical and environmental applications. Wang is the director of the new Center for Wearable Sensors at the Jacobs School, which is bringing together top UC San Diego researchers  working on sensors, low-power circuits, materials, electrochemistry, bioengineering, wireless network technologies, preventive medicine, and the life sciences.Wang was named one of the most influential analytical scientists in the world in 2013.

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