Six researchers affiliated with the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute are among the most influential in the world, according to the annual Highly Cited Researchers list published by the Web of Science, the world’s largest publisher-neutral citation index. The list, which includes Professors David Baker, Guozhong Cao, David Cobden, Debbie Nickerson, Jay Shendure and Xiaodong Xu, identifies scientists who have impacted their field as measured by citation of their work by their peers. The 2021 list includes 6,602 researchers who rank in the top one percent of citations in their field over the past decade.
David Baker, a professor of biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, was listed among the most cited researchers in the fields of biology and biochemistry. Baker is the director of the UW Institute for Protein Design. His research group has pioneered the development of robust methods to design novel macromolecular structures with new and useful functions. Baker has published over 500 research papers, been granted over 100 patents, and co-founded 11 companies.
Guozhong Cao, the Boeing-Steiner Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, professor of chemical engineering, and adjunct professor of mechanical engineering, was listed for his cross-field research on nanostructured materials. The Cao group primarily investigates energy-related applications including solar cells, rechargeable batteries, supercapacitors, catalysts, and sensors. Cao is an authority in the field of nanotechnology, authoring and editing scientific journals, conference proceeds, and books on the subject along with publishing over 600 peer-reviewed papers.
David Cobden, a professor of physics, was recognized for his cross-field research on nanoscale devices like nanowires, nanotubes, and two-dimensional materials. The Cobden group has a particular interest in low-dimensional, topological, and many-body effects and phase transitions.
Debbie Nickerson, a professor of genome sciences, was listed among the most cited researchers in the fields of molecular biology and genetics. The Nickerson group is interested in the identification and typing of common sequence variations in the human genome known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in an effort to gain an understanding of the patterns of sequence variation in the human genome and to improve approaches for association mapping of common human diseases.
Jay Shendure, a professor of genome sciences and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, was listed among the most cited researchers in the fields of molecular biology and genetics. The Shendure Lab develops and applies new technologies and methods for genetics, genomics and molecular biology, exploiting next-generation DNA sequencing.
Xiaodong Xu, a professor of physics and materials science & engineering, was listed among the most cited researchers in the field of physics. Xu’s research group studies two-dimensional materials — just atoms thick — that can be engineered to have unique optical, electronic, magnetic, and topological properties. These materials could become the foundation of next-generation solar cells, LEDs, transistors, and energy-efficient information processing and storage.