Biodesign researchers among world’s most influential researchers

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Biodesign researchers among world’s most influential researchers

December 17, 2019

December 16, 2019

Web of Science has named Marc Messerschmidt, an associate research professor in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and the School of Molecular Sciences; Uwe Weierstall, associate faculty in the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and research professor in the Department of PhysicsHao Yan, the Milton D. Glick Distinguished Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry and director of the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics; and Wei Liua faculty member of the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery and assistant professor in the School of Molecular Sciences, as part of the 1% of scientists who have influenced research in their areas of expertise over the last decade.

About 6,200 academics from around the world, including 10 researchers from ASU, have been named Highly Cited Researchers by the Web of Science Group, an independent global citation database. In order to receive this prestigious title, the researchers’ published papers had to rank in the top 1% of most cited works over the last decade. These researchers were cited the most by their peers in order to advance the work in their areas of expertise.

“We’re very proud of the researchers who have been recognized for their exceptional work,” said Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan, executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise and ASU’s chief research and innovation officer. “Being cited by one’s’ peers is a hallmark of highly respected work and is demonstrative of the caliber of professionals dedicated to advancing impactful, cutting-edge research here at ASU.”

The methodology that determines the “who’s who” of influential researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts from the Institute for Scientific Information at the Web of Science Group. More detail is available in their report “Global Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list reveals top talent in the sciences and social sciences.”

Messerschmidt joined ASU in 2018 and is a key member of the ASU team currently building the Compact X-ray free-electron laser at ASU. Messerschmidt’s areas of expertise include materials analysis, X-ray crystallography and chemistry. He received his PhD in crystallography from Berlin and later worked on time-resolved diffraction experiments within the University in Buffalo and Stanford University.

Weierstall is credited with important research in the area of allergic disease. Weierstall collaborated with a team from the MIPT (Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases to investigate the structure of a G protein-coupled receptor responsible for inflammation in asthma and other allergic diseases. By looking at the 3D structure, researchers can understand how drugs control these receptors, potentially paving the way to design drugs with fewer side effects.

Hao Yan is the Milton D. Glick Distinguished Professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry and director of the Biodesign Center for Molecular Design and Biomimetics. Yan has made significant discoveries related to structural DNA nanotechnology and DNA-directed self-assembly. One of his most recent achievements involves the use of nanobots — and a process dubbed “DNA origami” — to kill cancerous tumors. The DNA origami, which is folded into 3D shapes — much like the folded works of art — chokes off cancerous tumors’ blood supply.

Wei Liu is a faculty member of the Center for Applied Structural Discovery at the Biodesign Institute and an assistant professor in the School of Molecular Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who has been honored as a highly cited researcher for three years in a row. Professor Liu has spent over a decade developing new tools for studying the structure and function of membrane proteins with a focus on G protein-coupled receptors involved in the development of cancer.

 “Recognition and support of these exceptional researchers represents an important activity for a nation or an institution’s plans for efficient and accelerated advancement, said David Pendlebury, senior citation analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information. “The Highly Cited Researchers list contributes to the identification of that small fraction of the researcher population that significantly extends the frontiers of knowledge. These researchers create gains for society, innovation and knowledge that make the world healthier, richer, more sustainable and more secure.”

Other ASU researchers recognized as Highly Cited Researchers in 2019 include:

  • Paul Westerhoff is an ASU Regents Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and a long-time collaborator wit the Biodesign Institute Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology.
  • Sefaattin Tongay is an assistant professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
  • Jianguo Wu is the Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Sustainability Science in the School of Life Sciences in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and has been focused on landscape ecology for 25 years.
  • Michael O’Keeffe is an emeritus Regents Professor in the School of Molecular Sciences in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and has led groundbreaking work on the fundamental structure and properties of molecules and materials over the decades.
  • Kevin G. Corley is the chair of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship and a professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business. Corley’s field research examines the process by which managers and employees establish their roles in an organization, and how they process change around them.
  • Luis R. Gomez-Mejia is an ASU Regents Professor in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship in the W. P. Carey School of Business. Gomez-Mejia researches the relationships of international management, strategic management, executive compensation and family business.
  • Thomas Y. Choi is a professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management in the W. P. Carey School of Business. Choi has led the study of the upstream side of supply chains for decades and is currently looking at ways purchase managers play a lead role in various areas, including cyber-defense.

Arizona State University is at the forefront of research and innovation and is recognized as one of the fastest-growing research universities in the country. In fiscal year 2018, ASU hit a record $617.7 million in research expenditures, rising to seventh in national research rankings. And over the past decade, ASU researchers have been busy publishing papers and pioneering contributions in their respective fields, and their peers have taken notice.

Adapted from an ASU Now story written by Jimena Garrison.

 

Written by: Dianne Price