With six faculty members crowding the top ranks, Harvard University dominates a list of the 20 most-cited authors of clinical research papers between 1981 and 1998. The rankings were released today by ScienceWatch, the newsletter of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia.
An Ivy Leaguer didn't capture first place, though: That honor goes to Thomas E. Starzl, a transplant surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh, whose work was cited 26,456 times in journals indexed by ISI in this 17-year period. Starzl was the first to prove the safety and feasibility of liver transplantation in the 1960s, a Pittsburgh spokesperson says, and during the 1980s and '90s he helped develop immunosuppressive drugs that "radically improved the chances of survival" for transplant patients.
The second most-cited clinician (with 22,734 references) is oncologist Steven A. Rosenberg of the National Cancer Institute, a developer of innovative immunotherapy techniques and the first gene therapist to introduce a foreign gene into patients.
Most of the Harvard clinicians--ranking from 3 to 18--are associated with large epidemiological studies. Walter C. Willett, for example, relied on data provided by thousands of nurses in Boston to study nutrition, heart disease, and cancer. He may be best known for finding that not all fat in the diet--just saturated fat--is associated with a higher risk of cancer. Willett sees an irony in the rankings: "Some of my most important papers," he says, are methodology reports that "are not counted at all." Also included among the top 10 clinicians are AIDS researchers Robert C. Gallo of the University of Maryland and Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, ranked 8 and 9 respectively (see complete table below).
In a separate analysis by field of expertise, ISI found that oncology had the greatest impact between 1981 and 1998 with 17.79 citations per paper, followed by endocrinology (17.01), hematology (14.83), clinical psychology and psychiatry (13.49), and cardiology (11.48).
|Most-Cited Researchers in Clinical Medicine
(Ranked by total citations, based on papers published and cited in ISI-indexed journals of clinical medicine between 1981 and June 1998)
|1||Thomas E. Starzl||University of Pittsburgh||Transplantation||26,456|
|2||Steven A. Rosenberg||National Cancer Institute||Oncology||22,734|
|3||Meir J. Stampfer||Harvard University||Epidemiology||20,225|
|4||E. Donnall Thomas||F. Hutchinson Cancer Ctr.||Transplantation||19,781|
|5||Charles H. Hennekens||Harvard University||Epidemiology||19,645|
|6||Eugene Braunwald||Harvard University||Cardiology||19,451|
|7||Walter C. Willett||Harvard University||Epidemiology||19,281|
|8||Robert C. Gallo||Inst. Human Vir./U. of Maryland||Virology/HIV||18,659|
|9||Anthony S. Fauci||Natl. Inst. Allergy & Infectious Dis.||Virology/HIV||18,114|
|10||Rainer Storb||F. Hutchinson Cancer Ctr.||Oncology||17,560|
|11||Charles A. Dinarello||U. of Colorado Health Sci. Ctr.||Immunology||17,429|
|12||William B. Kannel||Boston University||Cardiology||15,727|
|13||Frank E. Speizer||Harvard University||Epidemiology||15,480|
|14||Eric J. Topol||Cleveland Clinic Found.||Cardiology||14,917|
|15||Graham A. Colditz||Harvard University||Epidemiology||14,296|
|16||Stephen R. Bloom||Imperial College London||Metabolic Med.||14,221|
|17||C. Dean Buckner||Response Oncology Inc.||Oncology||13,984|
|18||Bernard Rosner||Harvard University||Epidemiology||13,931|
|19||John H. Laragh||Cornell Medical Ctr.||Cardiology||13,539|
|20||Velentin Fuster||Mt. Sinai Med. Ctr.||Cardiology||13,376|
SOURCE: ISI'S SCIENCE INDICATORS DATABASE, 1981 TO JUNE 1998