LJI scientists among world’s most highly cited researchers

Annual list celebrates scientists whose work has outsized influence in their field of study

LA JOLLA, CA— Among the flood of research papers published by scientists and scholars in academic journals year in and year out—by some estimates their numbers now exceed 2,500,000 papers annually—the research contributions of scientists at La Jolla Institute for Immunology stand out for their global impact.

For the third year in a row, Dr. Shane Crotty’s pioneering studies on vaccine-related immunology have earned him a spot among “The World’s Most Influential Minds.” Dr. Crotty, a professor in the Division of Vaccine Discovery at La Jolla Institute for Immunology, is driven by his desire to understand the fundamentals of what makes agood immune response to help tailor vaccines.

This year he is joined by Dr. Alessandro Sette, professor and head of the Division of Vaccine Discovery, whose sustained efforts to systematically dissect the immune response to a wide range of microbes and allergens has a tremendous impact on the field of immunology.

Dr. Sette has also overseen the design and curation efforts of the national Immune Epitope Database (IEDB), a freely available, widely used bioinformatics resource that catalogs all epitopes—the specific structures that the immune system recognizes—for humans, non-human primates, rodents, and other vertebrates, from allergens, infectious diseases, autoantigens and transplants. The database has proven an invaluable tool to accelerate immunology research around the world.

Dr. Shane Crotty (left) and Dr. Alessandro Sette. Image courtesy of La Jolla Institute for Immunology

The work of Crotty and Sette has been instrumental in spurring a shift from the trial-and-error approach that has dominated the field of vaccine development in the past and paved the way for the rational design of immune-based treatments.

The list of highly cited researchers is compiled annually by Thomson Reuters and singles out scientists whose work has inspired, supported or challenged other researchers and as a result has been cited most often by their scientific peers. Researchers given this honor have been in the top 1% of citations for their field of study spanning the last decade.

But La Jolla Institute scientists are proving their outsized influence in more ways than one. Four LJI professors are listed in the 2018 Webometrics Highly Cited Researchers ranking chart, which includes 3160 researchers, dead and alive, with an H-Index higher than 100.

While the list of Highly Cited Researchers is based on recent research contributions and sometimes driven by a single, highly cited paper, the so-called H Index gauges the productivity and influence spanning a whole career. It is calculated on the basis of publications (=H) that have been cited at least H times. For instance, if a scientist has 20 papers each of which have been at least cited 20 times by others the H-Index would be 20. What this means is that a scientist is consistently producing papers that matter rather than one or two outliers with very high citations. Sigmund Freud, for example, comes in third with an H-Index of 273.

LJI professors currently on the list are President and Chief Scientific Officer Mitchell Kronenberg (103), Professor Klaus Ley (129), Professor Alessandro Sette (144) and Professor Anjana Rao (119).

About La Jolla Institute for Immunology
The La Jolla Institute for Immunology is dedicated to understanding the intricacies and power of the immune system so that we may apply that knowledge to promote human health and prevent a wide range of diseases. Since its founding in 1988 as an independent, nonprofit research organization, the Institute has made numerous advances leading toward its goal: life without disease.