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Twelve at Vanderbilt are among world’s highly cited researchers

Nov. 15, 2023, 10:43 AM

Mark Denison, MD, and Xiaotao Lu, MS, are among those on a new list of scientists whose papers have been cited the most frequently by other researchers. (photo by Erin O. Smith)
Mark Denison, MD, and Xiaotao Lu, MS, are among those on a new list of scientists whose papers have been cited the most frequently by other researchers. (photo by Erin O. Smith)

by Bill Snyder

Twelve current investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University are on this year’s list of scientists whose papers have been cited the most frequently by other researchers.

They are among 6,849 “highly cited researchers” around the world whose publications rank in the top 1% by citations for field of research and publication year in the Web of Science citation index over the past decade, according to the global analytics firm Clarivate, which compiled and released the 2023 list on Nov. 15.

Among the VUMC investigators are Mark Denison, MD, and his longtime senior research specialist and colleague Xiaotao Lu, MS, who together have made significant contributions to understanding the biology of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recipient of VUMC’s Edward E. Price Jr. Research Staff Award for Excellence in Basic Research, Lu has co-authored 38 papers with Denison since she began working with him in 1992, including two high-profile reports in 2020 demonstrating the efficacy of an antiviral drug and a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2.

Denison, who holds the Edward Claiborne Stahlman Chair in Pediatric Physiology and Cell Metabolism at VUMC, said Lu’s “exceptional research results and fingerprints are on all of the work and training that we do. She is lauded by every person who has passed through our program.

“The quality, continuity, and collegiality of staff scientists like Xiaotao Lu are absolutely essential for our scientific progress,” he said.

A Clarivate official said that in calculating their list, all authors of highly cited papers are given equal credit. The other 10 highly cited researchers from VUMC and VU this year are:

Justin Balko, PharmD, PhD, associate professor of Medicine and Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, and co-leader of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s Breast Cancer Research Program, who studies ways to increase the activity of the immune system to eliminate cancer.

Mariana Xavier Byndloss, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, who is exploring links between obesity, the gut microbiota and host metabolism that increase the risk for diseases like colorectal cancer.

James Crowe Jr., MD, holder of the Ann Scott Carell Chair and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center, whose work in viral immunology and antibody sciences has informed the development of new vaccines and therapeutics, including monoclonal antibodies, to treat and prevent viral disease.

De-en Jiang, PhD, professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and of Chemistry, whose research focuses on computational chemical science and materials. According to his website, a long-term goal is to “achieve data-driven design of functional materials and molecules for a sustainable society.”

Douglas Johnson, MD, MSCI, holder of the Susan and Luke Simons Directorship and leader of the melanoma clinical research program in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, who has published extensively on profiling cancers to predict which patients will benefit from immune therapies.

Elizabeth Phillips, MD, holder of the John A. Oates Chair in Clinical Research and director of Personalized Immunology at VUMC’s Oates Institute for Experimental Therapeutics, whose work has helped define the immunopathogenesis of severe adverse drug reactions.

Jeffrey Rathmell, PhD, holder of the Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Immunobiology and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Immunobiology, whose studies of lymphocyte metabolism are shedding light on inflammatory diseases like lupus and on anti-tumor immunity.

Dan Roden, MD, holder of the Sam L. Clark, MD, PhD Chair, professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, and Biomedical Informatics, and Senior Vice President for Personalized Medicine at VUMC, who is a leader in pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine.

C. Michael Stein, MBChB, holder of the Dan May Chair and professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, who has published extensively on translational approaches to defining the mechanisms underlying the interindividual variability of drug response and toxicity.

Lynne Stevenson, MD, holder of the Lisa M. Jacobson Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine and director of VUMC’s Cardiomyopathy Program, who has played a national role in the development of strategies and guidelines aimed at decreasing the progression of heart failure.

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