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10 Jacobs School Faculty Named in 2020 List of Highly Cited Researchers

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December 08, 2020 -- 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 a new research citation report from the Web of Science Group.

The Jacobs School of Engineering faculty members are among 52 professors and researchers at UC San Diego named in the prestigious list of Highly Cited Researchers in 2020. Researchers earned this distinction by producing multiple publications that rank in the top 1% by citations in their field over the past 11 years.

“Our faculty and researchers continue to influence their fields with top-quality, innovative work,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Their inclusion on this list of highly cited researchers is one measure of their impact in groundbreaking research taking place across the globe. UC San Diego shines because of our unique, multi-discipline research climate, where collaborators work together to advance the frontiers of knowledge.”

UC San Diego was ranked 8th globally for institutions with the most highly cited researchers. More than 6,000 researchers from around the world made the list in 2020.

"Here at the Jacobs School, we are working hard to develop and strengthen research ecosystems that allow our faculty, students and industry partners to ask and answer some of the most difficult questions that no single researcher, lab or company can address alone," said Albert P. Pisano, dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. "I'd like to congratulate our highly cited researchers for their research accomplishments and for their larger contributions to the growing momentum of our research and education enterprise here at the Jacobs School."

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 preventing it.

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.

Recent paper: “Using deep learning to model the hierarchical structure and function of a cell,” published in Nature Methods, 2018.

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.

Nathan E. Lewis, professor of pediatrics and bioengineering and co-director of the CHO Systems Biology Center. Lewis’s research focuses on building computational models to guide engineering of mammalian cells for drug and vaccine manufacturing. He also uses systems biology approaches to study complex genetic, metabolic and molecular pathways underlying childhood disorders, such as autism.

Most cited paper: “Quantitative prediction of cellular metabolism with constraint-based models: the COBRA Toolbox v2.0,” published in Nature Protocols, 2011.

Prashant Mali, professor of bioengineering. Mali’s expertise is in the fields of genome engineering and regenerative medicine. He has helped pioneer the development of CRISPR/Cas9, a powerful genome editing tool with wide applications in both basic biology and human therapeutics.

Recent paper: “Defining the Teratoma as a Model for Multi-lineage Human Development,” published in Cell, 2020.

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.

A highly cited paper: “Identifying surface structural changes in layered Li-excess nickel manganese oxides in high voltage lithium ion batteries: A joint experimental and theoretical study,” published in Energy & Environmental Science, 2011.

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.

Most cited paper: “What is flux balance analysis?” published in Nature Biotechnology, 2010.

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.

Kun Zhang, Leo and Trude Szilard Chancellor’s Endowed Chair, professor and chair of bioengineering. Zhang develops technologies for single-cell sequencing of the genome, transcriptome and epigenome, as well as imaging of human tissues. These technologies enable Zhang and colleagues to build 3D, digital single-cell maps of the human brain and organs in the respiratory and urinary systems. His work aims to provide a deeper understanding of the functions and malfunctions of organs in the human body at the level of individual cells.

A highly cited paper: ”Somatic coding mutations in human induced pluripotent stem cells,” published in Nature, 2011.

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, white blood cells, cancer cells and others). These cell-coated nanoparticles have shown promise in fighting drug-resistant bacterial 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.

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Jacobs School of Engineering