This month, ScienceWatch.com presents a
listing of the top 20 institutions which, according to
our Special Topic on
Epigenetics, attracted the highest total citations
to their papers published on the topic inThomson
These institutions are the top 20 ranked by total
cites out of a pool of 4,877 institutions publishing on
this topic,based solely on the keyword
"epigenet*" in the titles, abstracts, and keywords
sections of papers.
The resulting list of institutions shows that epigenetics is of
international interest, and extends from universities to government
organizations and the private sector. Fourteen of the institutions are
US-based, four hail from the UK, and one is from Austria.
Johns Hopkins University tops the list, with 347 papers cited a total of
21,385 times—over 10,000 more citations than the next institution on
the list. Their ranking comes as no surprise when one sees that the top two
slots on our scientists listing belong to Johns Hopkins researchers
(see also) and
James Herman. More than half of the citations for
Johns Hopkins are due to these scientists, both of whom have talked with
ScienceWatch.com in the past about their work.
Coming in at #2 is Harvard University, with 307 papers cited a total of
10,614 times. Epigenetic control of gene expression, epigenetics in
mammalian development, and epigenetics in cancer are just a few of the
topics from Harvard's researchers that are being cited.
The National Cancer Institute of the US claims the third spot, with 284
papers cited a total of 8,250 times. Shiv Grewal's papers on DNA
methylation and heterochromatin are among the top-cited papers for this
institution. Other hot research areas include cancer pathogenesis, the role
of DNA methylation in health and disease, and tumor phenotypes.
The #4 slot belongs to the University of Southern California, with 114
papers cited 7,355 times. USC's top two papers, with cites in excess of
1,000 each, have as their lead author Peter Jones. He and Johns Hopkins
coauthor Stephen Baylin
with ScienceWatch.com about their paper, "The fundamental role of
epigenetic events in cancer," (Nat. Rev. Genet. 3: 415-28, June
2002). This paper is ranked #1 in our Topic.
Ranking fifth is the University of Virginia, with 45 papers cited 6,588
times. Among Virginia's highly cited papers are such topics as the histone
code, chromatin structure, and histone-chromatin crosstalk.
Placing at #6 is the first of four UK-based organizations: the University
of Cambridge with 155 papers cited a total of 5,676 times. Cambridge's
highly cited work centers on epigentics in cancer and other diseases, such
as diabetes, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and Huntington's disease, and the
role of epigenetics in cells, particularly in mammalian development.
The list returns to the US with the institution ranked at #7: MIT, with 87
papers cited 5,573 times. More than half of these citations have their
origins in the research of
Rudolf Jaenisch, whose work on the role of epigenetics in stems cells,
among other things, has earned him the #8 slot on our list of the top 20
scientists by total citations. This month, ScienceWatch.com spoke
with him about his work.
Coming in at #8 is the Vienna Biocenter, with 25 papers cited 5,424 times.
The Biocenter's profile has been helped a great deal by the work of Thomas
Jenuwein, although he has since moved to the Max Planck Institute of
Immunobiology in Germany. Another researcher coming out of the Vienna
Biocenter is Jan-Michael Peters, whose work focuses on mitotic issues, such
as sister chromatid cohesion, the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome, and
The #9 slot belongs to the University of California, San Francisco, with
146 papers cited a total of 5,286 times. Cancer epigenetics appears to be
the main focus of the research groups at UCSF, and includes such topics as
tumor expression and using epigenetics to develop anticancer agents.
Rounding out the top 10 is the UK's Babraham Institute, with 81 papers
cited a total of 5,285 times. Mammalian development, particularly the
parental influence on the genome, is a large part of the highly cited
research for this registered charity organization.
Wolf Reik, whose work earned him the #7 spot on our
list of top-cited scientists in epigenetics, and who spoke with
ScienceWatch.com about his work some years ago, hails from the Babraham
The remaining institutions on the list include eight from the US—one
more from California (the University of Los Angeles, CA, at #11), one each
from Pennsylvania (the University of Pennsylvania at #12), Missouri
(Washington University in St. Louis at #15), New York (Cold Spring Harbor
Lab at #16), Ohio (Ohio State University at #18), and Washington (the
University of Washington at #19), and two from Texas (the University of
Texas Health Science Center in Houston at #17 and the University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center at #20). The remaining institutions on the list
are based in the UK: the University of Edinburgh at #13 and the University
of Birmingham at #14.
The full list of the top 20 institutions in epigenetics by total cites is
The top 20 institutions in the Special Topic of
Univ So Calif
UNIV CALIF SAN
UNIV CALIF LOS
COLD SPRING HARBOR
UNIV TEXAS HLTH SCI
UT SOUTHWESTERN MED
Full citation details for all these institutions can be
found in Essential Science Indicators from Thomson