Our Highly Cited Researchers in 2021

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Three scientists at The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) have once again been included in the Highly Cited Researchers™ list for 2021. Now in its eighth year, the list recognises the most influential researchers on a global scale, representing those ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field.

The annual list is based on the Web of Science™ citation index and compiled by the Institute for Scientific Information™ at Clarivate. It identifies some 6,600 researchers from across the globe who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.

The Sainsbury Laboratory researchers who make the list for 2021 are Professor Jonathan Jones FRS, Professor Sophien Kamoun FRS, and Professor Cyril Zipfel.

Montage showing photos of Jonathan Jones, Sophien Kamoun and Cyril Zipfel

Professor Jonathan Jones studies how plants resist disease, and how pathogens evade or suppress the detection and resistance mechanisms of their plant hosts.

Professor Sophien Kamoun studies the interactions between plants and filamentous pathogens, notably the Irish potato famine organism Phytophthora infestans and the rice and wheat blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.

Professor Cyril Zipfel studies the molecular basis of plant innate immunity and aims to decipher signalling events linking the perception of pathogen-associated molecules to the establishment of immunity.

Over 6,602 highly recited researchers from more than 70 countries and regions are named in the 2021 list in 21 fields of sciences and social sciences. The UK is ranked third overall with 492 highly cited researchers behind the US (2,622) and China (935). This is a particularly high number of researchers at the very top of their fields in terms of citation impact, given that the United Kingdom has a population 1/5 the size of the United States and 1/20 the size of Mainland China.

Professor Nick Talbot FRS, Executive Director of The Sainsbury Laboratory, said: “I am very proud to see the research at TSL recognized in the highly cited researcher list. TSL group leaders have been part of this list since its creation, which demonstrates the enduring influence and impact of the research that we carry out. Our research is generated and supported by the broad TSL family of postdocs, students, and staff across the institute. I am grateful to all of them for their part in achieving such recognition.”

About The Sainsbury Laboratory

The Sainsbury Laboratory (tsl.ac.uk) is an independent research institute that focuses on plant health for a sustainable future. It makes fundamental scientific discoveries in molecular plant-microbe interactions and applies these to reduce crop losses caused by plant diseases, particularly in low-income countries. Around one hundred and twenty staff and students work and study at the Laboratory which is located on the Norwich Research Park, United Kingdom. The Laboratory is generously supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and by the University of East Anglia, wins competitive grants from the BBSRC, ERC and other research grant funding bodies and, for some research programmes, is funded by commercial companies. Established in 1987, highlights of The Sainsbury Laboratory include: discovery of RNA interference in plants by Prof. Sir David Baulcombe FRS as recognised by the Lasker Award and the Wolf Prize in Agriculture, discovery of the first immune receptor in plants by Prof. Jonathan Jones FRS, three current Group Leaders are Fellows of the Royal Society, and five researchers who have been on the Highly Cited Researchers list of top 1% scientists in the world since 2018.