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Six Highly Cited Scientists and one Citation Laureate. Top row from left: Herman

Six Highly Cited Scientists and one Citation Laureate. Top row from left: Hermann Einsele, Rainer Hedrich, Andreas Rosenwald (photo: Erwin Schmitt) and Ingolf Steffan Dewenter (photo: Susanne Schiele). Bottom row: Jörg Vogel, Frank Würthner and Laurens Molenkamp.


Their scientific papers are among the most frequently cited by researchers worldwide. Six researchers of the University of Würzburg have therefore been added to the Highly Cited Researchers 2018 List.

In 2014, three scientists won the distinction, five in 2017 and this year as many as six researchers of the University of Würzburg were excited to be named as "Highly Cited Researcher". They all have one thing in common, namely that their scientific papers are among the most highly cited by other scientists, a fact which speaks for their influence and importance.

Professor Andreas Rosenwald, who heads the Department of General Pathology and Pathological Anatomy in Würzburg, has been newly added to the list. The other laureates are medical scientist Hermann Einsele, biophysicist Rainer Hedrich, animal ecologist Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Jörg Vogel, a specialist in RNA research and infection biology, and chemist Frank Würthner.

The analysis of Clarivate Analytics is based on the "Web of Science" database which lists scientific articles from around 34,000 journals. For their 2018 assessment, the analysts looked at the time between 2006 and 2016 and analysed the citations in 21 scientific fields.

Highly cited papers rank in the top one percent of most-cited publications in their domain in the year of publication. Only researchers who have co-authored several such highly cited papers are admitted to the circle of "Highly Cited Researchers" which comprises 6,000 researchers worldwide in 2018.

In addition to the Highly Cited Researchers , Clarivate Analytics announces the Citation Laureates , a list of candidates considered likely to win the Nobel Prize in their respective field. The Würzburg physicist Laurens Molenkamp has been on this list since 2014. To be eligible as a Citation Laureate , a scientist’s published papers must be cited more than 1,000 times. Moreover, their contribution to science must concern a trail-blazing discovery or revolutionary progress which the analysts consider worthy of a Nobel Prize.

University President Forchel congratulates

University President Forchel congratulated all seven professors and emphasised the significance of this distinction from an institutional point of view: "The fact that the number of highly cited Würzburg researchers has increased continuously despite fierce global competition is an impressive proof of the powerful and dynamic research competence of your university. My congratulations to all laureates for this great success!"

The honoured professors:

Hermann Einsele, Head of the Department for Internal Medicine II: Hermann Einsele is an expert in internal medicine, haematology, oncology, immunotherapy and infections in patients with a weakened immune system. In June 2004, the physician was appointed professor at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Würzburg. Since December 2004, he has been the director of the Medical Clinic and Policlinic II at the Würzburg University Hospital. A specialist in internal medicine and oncology, he developed the selection and application of manipulated immune cells which he used clinically in Europe for the first time. In 2003, he received the "Van Bekkum Award" of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and was admitted to the Royal College of Pathology in London as an Honorary Fellow . Moreover, he is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz. As one of the spokesmen of two Transregio Collaborative Research Centres and the coordinator of several EUFP7 and Horizon-2020 projects, he promoted cellular immunotherapy and studied the selection of multi-antigen-specific T cells, bispecific antibodies and CAR-T cells. He leads immunotherapy studies of many tumour diseases. His scientific focus is also on stem cell transplantation to treat leukaemias and multiple myeloma. In his role as the Vice President of the University of Würzburg, Einsele is also dedicated to research and the promotion of young talent.

Rainer Hedrich, Head of the Department of Botany I - Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics Rainer Hedrich is considered one of the fathers of researching electric signal transmission of plants based on ion channels. The biophysicist has been the first researcher in the world to directly determine the functioning of plant ion channels in the Göttingen-based Max Planck Laboratory of Nobel Laureate Erwin Neher. Hedrich received numerous internationally renowned awards including an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council. This research award was established to give excellent scientists the opportunity to pursue high-risk projects. In the ERC project titled "Carnivorom", Hedrich explores the molecular bases that allow carnivorous plants to feed on animals. He discovered among others that the Venus flytrap counts how often it is touched by its prey and that the number of stimuli determines when the trap snaps shuts.

Andreas Rosenwald, head of the Department of General Pathology and Pathological Anatomy in Würzburg:
Andreas Rosenwald is a pathologist and an expert in diagnosing haematologic diseases. In 2009, he was appointed Professor of Pathology at the University of Würzburg. His focus is on researching the molecular pathogenesis of tumours of the lymphatic system, the so-called malignant lymphomas, which includes diffuse large B cell lymphomas, follicular lymphomas and mantle cell lymphomas. His team was able to contribute to the biological characterisation of molecular subgroups of these tumours for which different treatment options currently exist. He is one of the co-authors of the WHO classification of malignant lymphomas and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) since 2016.

Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, Head of the Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter is an animal ecologist, entomologist and beekeeper. He studies the impact of climate change, habitat fragmentation, altered land use and invasive species on insect biodiversity and their meaning for ecosystem functions in tropic and temperate habitats. His research contributes to understanding the mechanisms that determine the abundance, frequency and interactions between species. He conducted ground-breaking studies of agricultural systems on the pollination of crops, biological pest control and the preservation of biodiversity.

Jörg Vogel, Director of the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research
and Director of the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology
: Jörg Vogel researches regulatory RNA molecules in bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella and in the human microbiome. His team develops new methods based on high-throughput sequencing to detect RNA molecules in high resolution and to understand how they work. The biochemist is the director of the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology (IMIB) at the Medical Faculty of the University of Würzburg. Moreover, Vogel is the founding director of the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) established in 2017. Winner of the 2017 Leibniz Prize, he is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and of the European Molecular Biology Organization EMBO.

Frank Würthner, Head of the Department of Organic Chemistry II Frank Würthner conducts fundamental research in the field of supramolecular material science and develops supramolecular polymers and nano-materials based on functional dyes for organic electronics and photovoltaics applications. Following successful research on converting sunlight to electricity (photovoltaics), Würthner has also experimented with dye-based materials that use sunlight to produce fuels since 2012. For this purpose, he focuses on biomimetic concepts and develops synthetic nanosystems in which dyes harvest solar energy similar to natural photosynthesis and subsequently use them for photocatalytic water splitting. Würthner is the founding director of the Center for Nanosystems Chemistry whose new research building was inaugurated in 2016. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and an elected member of the Bavarian and National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). This year, he received an ERC Advanced Grant for the development of metallosupramolecular catalysts for light-induced water oxidation.

Laurens Molenkamp, Head of the Department of Experimental Physics III: Laurens Molenkamp is definitely one of the leading scientists in his field: In 2007, the quantum spin Hall effect was discovered in his lab in Würzburg. Moreover, Molenkamp was the first scientist to implement the new material class of topological insulators in experiments. Since his breakthrough, intensive research has been conducted in this domain. Among others, Molenkamp won a EUR 2.5 million ERC Advanced Grant in 2011 and 2017, respectively, and the Leibniz Prize in 2014. In 2017, he received the Stern-Gerlach Medal, the most prestigious award of the German Physical Society.

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