It was a year in which science made headlines--when a lamb named Dolly came on like a lion, and the Pathfinder mission bounced to a perfect Martian landing. And, as always, Science Watch was watching. Here is a roundup for 1997 of those scientists who, at year's end, had the greatest number of highly cited papers published during the preceding two years, according to the Institute for Scientific Information's Hot Papers Database.
Unlike in previous years, the 1997 ranking of hot scientists proved to be an egalitarian affair. Following its custom of identifying scientists who have published at least five highly cited papers over the last two years, Science Watch found one researcher, Ronald M. Evans, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, Calif., in the top spot with six papers on nuclear hormone receptors and their actions in gene activation and other cellular responses. Evans was featured in last fall's Science Watch survey of "high-impact" authors in biomedicine during the 1990s (see Science Watch, 8:1-2, September/October 1997); he also described his research in Science Watch back in 1992 (3:3-4, December 1992).
The subject of a more recent interview last fall ( Science Watch, 8:3-4, September/October 1997), J. Craig Venter of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), in Rockville, Md., heads the sizable group of runners-up (the order of names in the second-place tier is determined by average cites per paper for each author's five hot reports). Venter, with TIGR colleague Mark D. Adams, scored with five genome maps published over the last two years. One of these, the complete sequence of the archaeon Methanococcus jannaschii, was the second-most-cited paper in biology as of the Science Watch March/April issue. Another genomist, Eric S. Lander of the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research, Cambridge, Mass., makes a repeat appearance from 1996--the only holdover, in fact, from last year's listing.
Recent research into the action of cofactors in HIV infection brings several names to the list, including Marc Parmentier of the Free University of Brussels, Belgium. One of the reports co-authored by Parmentier is now ranked seventh in the Biology Top Ten; one of Parmentier's collaborators on that report and on two other hot papers is Robert W. Doms of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Doms also contributed to two additional high-impact reports on HIV coreceptors. In one of these papers, discussing fusin in HIV-2 infection, Doms's co-authors included another member of this select group: Nathaniel R. Landau of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. Among Landau's four other hot reports is the Deng et al. paper (H. Deng et al., Nature, 381:661-6, 1996). Joseph Sodroski and Hyeryun Choe of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and their collaborators, published five highly cited reports on chemokine receptors in HIV infection, including the Nature paper by He et al. that ranks among 1997's most cited (J. He et al., Nature, 385:645-9, 1997).
Rounding out the hot authors are Peter H. Krammer of the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany, who contributed to five hot reports on the FLICE protein and other aspects of programmed cell death (M. Muzio et al., Cell , 85:817-27, 1996). Two other HHMI researchers, Joan Massague and Stanley J. Korsmeyer --both of whom ranked among the highest-impact biomedical authors of the 1990s, also appear here. Isa K. Mushahwar and A. Scott Muerhoff, colleagues at Abbott Laboratories in North Chicago, Ill., fielded five high-impact reports on the hepatitis GB virus C. Jerry W. Shay, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, contributed to reports on the activity of telomerase in normal and cancerous cells. And John C. Reed, of the Burnham Institute, La Jolla, Calif., was co-author of five reports on cell death, including a paper on Bcl-2, the cell-death regulatory molecule that was a focus of several of 1997's most-cited papers.
The Hottest Researchers of 1997 Scientists Ranked by Number of Hot Papers Source: ISI's Hot Papers Database, Nov./Dec. 1995-Nov./Dec. 1997
Number Rank Name Institution Field Hot Papers 1 Ronald M. Evans HHMI, Salk Institute Genetics 6 2 J. Craig Venter Institute for Genomic Research Genomics 5 Mark D. Adams Institute for Genomic Research Genomics 5 Eric S. Lander MIT/Whitehead Institute Genomics 5 Marc Parmentier Free University of Brussels Molecular Biology 5 Nathaniel R. Landau Aaron Diamond AIDS Res. Ctr. Molecular Biology 5 Joseph Sodroski Dana-Farber Cancer Inst./Harvard Retrovirology 5 Hyeryun Choe Dana-Farber Cancer Inst./Harvard Retrovirology 5 Robert W. Doms University of Pennsylvania Pathology 5 Peter H. Krammer German Cancer Research Ctr. Immunology 5 Joan Massague HHMI, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Cell Biology 5 Stanley J. Korsmeyer HHMI, Washington University Cell Biology 5 Isa K. Mushahwar Abbott Laboratories Virology 5 A. Scott Muerhoff Abbott Laboratories Virology 5 Jerry W. Shay UT Southwestern Medical Center Cell Biology 5 John C. Reed Burnham Institute Cell Biology 5
Scientists Ranked by Number of Hot Papers
Source: ISI's Hot Papers Database, Nov./Dec. 1995-Nov./Dec. 1997