News Release

10 Jacobs School faculty among 2021 list of most highly cited researchers in the world


November 30, 2021 -- Ten professors at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering are among the world’s most influential researchers in their fields, according to the 2021 Clarivate listing of Most Highly Cited Researchers in the World.

The Jacobs School of Engineering faculty members are among 51 professors and researchers at UC San Diego named in the prestigious list of Highly Cited Researchers in 2021. Researchers earned this distinction by producing multiple publications that rank in the top 1% by citations in their field over the past decade. UC San Diego was ranked 9th globally for institutions with the most highly cited researchers. The 2021 list identified some 6,600 researchers from around the world.

“UC San Diego’s 9th place ranking, out of 1,300 research institutions globally, shines a bright and well-deserved light on the groundbreaking, multi-disciplinary research taking place across our university,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Regularly cited by colleagues around the globe, the work of our respected faculty experts is advancing human knowledge and addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

The ten Highly Cited Jacobs School researchers are listed below.

Ludmil Alexandrov, professor of bioengineering. Alexandrov maps the mutational processes in cancer and devises better strategies for cancer prevention and treatment.

Most cited paper: “Signatures of mutational processes in human cancer,” published in Nature, 2013.

Trey Ideker, professor of genetics and bioengineering. Ideker seeks to comprehensively map connections between the many genes and proteins in a cell and how these connections trigger or prevent disease. His current work focuses on DNA mutations that cause cancer.

A recent paper: “Interpretation of cancer mutations using a multiscale map of protein synthesis,” published in Science, 2021.

Rob Knight, professor of pediatrics, bioengineering, computer science and engineering, and director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation. Knight studies microbiomes in a range of settings, including but not limited to the human body, and how they can be manipulated to benefit health and the environment. Recently, Knight has been involved in campus programs performing COVID-19 clinical testing and wastewater detection of SARS-CoV-2.

Most cited paper: “QIIME allows analysis of high-throughput community sequencing data,” published in Nature Methods, 2010.

Prashant Mali, professor of bioengineering. Mali’s expertise is in the fields of genome engineering and regenerative medicine. He has helped develop CRISPRs and ADARs as powerful tools for DNA and RNA editing, with wide applications in both basic biology and human therapeutics.

A recent paper: “Peptide tiling screens of cancer drivers reveal oncogenic protein domains and associated peptide inhibitors,” published in Cell Systems, 2021.

Ying Shirley Meng, Zable Endowed Chair in Energy Technologies, professor of nanoengineering and director of the Institute for Materials Discovery and Design. Meng’s research focuses on functional nano- and micro-scale materials for energy storage and conversion—especially for batteries of all shapes and sizes.

Recent highly cited paper: “Pathways for practical high-energy long-cycling lithium metal batteries,” published in Nature Energy, 2019.

Shyue Ping Ong, professor of nanoengineering. Ong focuses on the intersection between materials science, computer science and data science. By building sophisticated automation software frameworks, Ong generates materials data at unprecedented scales to discover and design new materials for batteries, LEDs and aerospace applications. Ong also develops cutting edge machine learning methods to maximize the return on materials data. Ong is a firm advocate for open data and software to enable reproducible innovation in the materials research community.

A recent paper: “Learning properties of ordered and disordered materials from multi-fidelity data,” published in Nature Computational Science, 2021.

Bernhard O. Palsson, Galletti Professor of Bioengineering, professor of pediatrics and Director of the Center for Biosustainability. Palsson’s research focuses on developing experimental and computational models of the red blood cell, E. coli, CHO cells, and several human pathogens to establish their systems biology. His Systems Biology Research Group leverages high-power computing to build interactive databases of biological information and is increasingly focused on Genome Design and Engineering.

A highly cited paper: “BiGG models: A platform for integrating, standardizing and sharing genome-scale models,” published in Nucleic Acids Research, 2016.

Joseph Wang, SAIC Endowed Chair, distinguished professor of nanoengineering, director of the Center for Wearable Sensors and co-director of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine Center for Mobile-Health Systems and Applications. Wang’s research focuses on developing micro- and nanomotors and wearable sensors for medical, military, security and environmental applications.

A highly cited paper: “Electrochemical glucose biosensors,” published in Chemical Reviews, 2008.

Sheng Xu, professor of nanoengineering. Xu engineers soft, flexible and stretchable electronics that can be comfortably worn on the human body and perform just as well as conventional (hard) electronic devices. His contributions to novel materials and microfabrication strategies earned him the biennial Materials Research Prize for Young Investigators from ETH Zurich in 2021. Xu’s innovative work on wearable ultrasound technology has allowed noninvasive monitoring of tissue far below the skin surface. He also developed new growth methods for perovskite materials used in flexible high-performance electronics.

A recent paper: “Materials and structures towards soft electronics,” published in Advanced Materials, 2018.

Liangfang Zhang, professor of nanoengineering, co-director of the Center for Nano-Immuno Engineering and faculty member of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine. Zhang’s revolutionary work in the field of nanomedicine focuses on developing nanoparticles that perform therapeutic tasks in the body without being rejected by the immune system. He invented a technology to disguise synthetic nanoparticles in the skins of natural cells (i.e. red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells, cancer cells and others). These cell-mimicking nanoparticles have shown promise in fighting drug-resistant bacterial infections and viral infections; training the immune system to fight cancer; and treating rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.

A highly cited paper: “Erythrocyte membrane-camouflaged polymeric nanoparticles as a biomimetic delivery platform,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011.

Media Contacts

Liezel Labios
Jacobs School of Engineering