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News Release

Nature Names UC San Diego a Top 15 Research Institution Worldwide

The prestigious scientific journal praises the campus for its research output and real-world impact

San Diego, Calif., Aug. 9, 2017 -- The University of California San Diego is the world’s 14th best university for developing research that is used to create products or services that benefit society and spur economic growth. The new rankings by Nature, one of the world’s leading academic journals, also praise the campus for its research output: nearly half of UC San Diego’s natural science papers appear in the Nature index, which measures research productivity in the globe’s top science journals.

First launched in November 2014, the Nature Index database tracks the author affiliations of research articles published in a group of 68 high-quality natural science journals, which have been selected by independent panels of active scientists.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to producing world-class research, designed to enhance the lives of millions around the globe,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “At UC San Diego, we constantly push boundaries when transferring knowledge into industry. Our nontraditional and innovative approach has proven to be essential in solving problems in today’s complex society.”

For example, researchers at UC San Diego recently created the ultimate natural sunscreen through development of nanoparticles that mimic the behavior of natural melanin-producing cell structures that protect our skin, eyes and other tissues from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. In addition, an innovative study published recently by Science and coauthored by a UC San Diego economist put a price tag on the BP oil spill, estimating $17.2 billion in damages to natural resources. The research improves valuation techniques that drive policy decisions.

The Nature Index 2017 Innovation supplement is designed to shed new light on the impact academic research is having on innovation by examining how research articles are cited in third party patents.

By looking at patents owned by third parties – informed by and citing academic work – rather than those held by institutions themselves, the influence of research on the development of products and services is exposed.

David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index, said: “This analysis comes at a time when following the transfer of scientific knowledge into industry and the economy is a growing priority for governments and research funding agencies – for them, the need to demonstrate that publicly funded science is being used for society’s benefit is paramount.”

UC San Diego has spurred 2,900 active inventions and 1,870 total active U.S. and foreign patents. In addition, more than 650 companies have been launched by and or utilize technology produced by faculty and staff. 

UC San Diego is dedicated to ensuring its students are equipped with the multidisciplinary tools needed to accelerate answers to our world’s most pressing issues. The campus’s efforts in social innovation and education were recently recognized with an official Changemaker Campus designation from Ashoka U, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs.

Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading, international weekly journal of science. For more information about the Nature Index, click here.

For more information about UC San Diego and its rankings, go to the Campus Profile.

Media Contacts

Christine Clark
UCSD Communications