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Emory faculty recognized as most highly cited researchers

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Holly Korschun

Seven Emory University faculty members are recognized as “Highly Cited Researchers” on a new list from Thomson Reuters that identifies researchers who have contributed to a significant number of the most highly cited publications from the past decade in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences.

The 3,200 highly cited researchers were selected based on data from Essential Science Indicators 2001-2012, which included scientific journal articles ranked in the top one percent of publications by total citations according to scientific field and year of publication.

The six Emory highly-cited scholars are:

Rafi Ahmed, MD, director of the Emory Vaccine Center; professor of microbiology and immunology, Emory University School of Medicine; Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar; and investigator, Emory Center for AIDS Research. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Ahmed has been highly influential in shaping our current understanding of memory T cell differentiation and anti-viral T and B cell immunity. The Ahmed laboratory’s identification of the role of the inhibitory receptor PD-1 in T cell dysfunction during chronic infection has directly translated into human clinical studies to treat both chronic infection and cancer. The laboratory’s method for rapidly generating broadly reactive human monoclonal antibodies after influenza vaccination is contributing to efforts to develop a universal influenza vaccine.

Dana Boyd Barr, PhD, professor of environmental health at Rollins School of Public Health, joined Emory in 2010 following a 23-year career with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her research focuses on environmental contaminants and their impact on health and disease, with a special interest in maternal and child health and biomarkers of environmental exposure. She is currently president of the International Society of Exposure Science and recently completed a five-year term as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.

Eric Hunter, PhD, is professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar; and co-director, Emory Center for AIDS Research. His research is centered on understanding the host and viral factors that affect HIV heterosexual transmission and early viral disease. The Hunter laboratory has shown that transmission of HIV is usually established by a single genetic variant out of the diverse population of HIV variants from the transmitting partner. The knowledge gained from ongoing studies with global partners to understand the effect of viral changes in HIV variants on early infection events, immune activation and virus replication at a molecular level will be critical for the development of an effective HIV vaccine.

Bali Pulendran, PhD, is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Immunology in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in Emory University School of Medicine, Emory Vaccine Center and Yerkes National Primate Research Center; and an investigator with the Emory Center for AIDS Research. He uses a systems biology approach that combines high throughput assays and computational approaches to understand how the innate immune system regulates adaptive immune response to pathogens, with the goal of developing vaccines and therapeutics. His laboratory has designed a synthetic nanoparticle-based vaccine that resembles a virus and induces lifelong antibody responses in mice.

Leslee Shaw, MD, is professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine and co-director, Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute. She serves on the Cardiovascular Imaging Committee of the American Heart Association and the Board of Directors of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. Her research interests and expertise include cardiovascular test accuracy, risk assessment, prognosis and cost efficiency, with a particular emphasis on the role of how diagnostic tests work differently to assess heart disease risk in various ethnic groups and in women versus men.

Peter Wilson, MD, is professor of medicine, Division of Cardiology, Emory University School of Medicine. He recently served on the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology task force that formulated new guidelines for treating cholesterol to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, drawing on a wealth of research experience, including 20 years as director of laboratories at the Framingham Heart Study in Massachusetts, as well as clinical experience at the Emory Clinic and the Atlanta VA Medical Center Lipid Clinic. He also has served for the past two years on FDA advisory committees related to cardiovascular, endocrine and metabolic drugs and safety.

Younan Xia, PhD, is the Brock Family Chair in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Nanomedicine. An internationally recognized leader in the field of nanotechnology, Xia focuses his research on the novel class of materials known as nanocrystals and the development of innovative technologies in molecular imaging, early cancer diagnosis, targeted drug delivery, biomaterials, regenerative medicine and catalysis.

The methodology for selection and the complete list of highly cited researchers is available on the website:

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