USC faculty named to Thomson Reuters “Highly Cited Researchers” list

Eleven USC faculty members across several fields of study were recently named to the annual Thomson Reuters list of highly cited researchers, recognizing them as among the leading researchers in the world.

To make the list, researchers must have authored the top 1 percent of articles that are cited most frequently by other researchers for a given time period. The new 2015 list, released last month, considered highly cited papers published from the 2003 to 2013 period.

The following USC researchers were included on the 2015 list of more than 3,125 scientists worldwide:

Paul Aisen, M.D. (Neuroscience and Behavior) In his role as director, he helps the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the university accelerate the development of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and neurological diseases through innovative, collaborative, multicenter clinical trials. From 2007 through 2015, Aisen was professor in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study.

Vadim Cherezov, Ph.D. (Pharmacology and Toxicology) – Cherezov joined USC in 2014 from The Scripps Research Institute. He is a structural biophysicist whose work examines the structure, stability and function of biological membranes, and how that affects the function of proteins inside of them. He has developed novel instruments and technologies to enhance the biophysical characterization and crystallization of membrane proteins.

Eileen Crimmins, Ph.D. (Social Sciences) – Crimmins is AARP Professor of Gerontology & Professor in the USC Davis School of Gerontology. She is currently Director of the USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health, which is supported by the U.S. National Institute on Aging (NIA). She is also the Director of the Multidisciplinary Training in Gerontology Program and the NIA-sponsored Network on Biological Risk.

Valery Fokin, Ph.D. (Chemistry) – Fokin is a leading chemist and expert in click chemistry and chemical biology. He is a leader in USC’s efforts in convergent bioscience as he plays an integral role in guiding USC Dornsife’s Bridge Institute (The Bridge@USC). In 2011, Thomson-Reuters ranked him among the world’s top-10 chemists of the decade. Fokin is best known for co-discovering Copper-Catalyzed Azide-Alkyne Cycloaddition, recognized in the field as the iconic example of “click chemistry.” This term refers to the method of finding the simplest and most reliable chemical reactions to build molecules that can be used in the testing of pharmaceutical drugs.

Inderbir S. Gill, M.D. (Clinical Medicine) – Gill is the Chairman and Professor of the Catherine and Joseph Aresty Department of Urology, Founding Executive Director of the USC Institute of Urology and Associate Dean for Clinical Innovation. He is an internationally recognized leader in the field of robotic and laparoscopic surgery for urologic cancers. An acclaimed innovator, he is the world leader in laparoscopic partial nephrectomy and cryoablation for kidney cancer.

Brian Henderson, M.D. (Molecular Biology and Genetics) – The former Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Henderson was a pioneer in the field of cancer epidemiology. Henderson passed away in June 2015 after a battle with lung cancer.

Huaiyu Y. Mi, M.D. (Biology and Biochemistry) – Mi is Assistant Professor of Research in the Division of Bioinformatics in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Hashem Pesaran, Ph.D. (Economics and Business) – An expert in macroeconomic forecasting, credit risk analysis, and Middle Eastern economics, Pesaran is John Elliot Chair in Economics and Professor of Economics at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and Director of the USC Center for Applied Financial Economics.

Jonathan Samet, M.D. (Social Sciences) – Samet is the Founding Director, USC Institute for Global Health and is Distinguished Professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He researches diverse health issues using epidemiological approaches. For several decades, he has been involved in global health, focused on tobacco control and air pollution. He currently chairs the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee of the U.S. EPA and also the FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1997.

Raymond Stevens, Ph.D. (cited in both fields of Biology and Biochemistry and Pharmacology and Toxicology) – Stevens joined USC in 2014 from The Scripps Research Institute and is Director of USC Dornsife’s Bridge Institute (The Bridge@USC) and Provost Professor of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Neurology, Physiology and Biophysics, and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. A leader in molecular research, Stevens helped pioneer the area of high-throughput structural biology and elucidated the structure of proteins, essential work for pharmaceutical drug development. He has helped develop several therapeutic molecules that have become breakthrough drugs or are in clinical trials to treat conditions such as influenza, rare childhood diseases, neuromuscular disorders and diabetes.

Paul D. Thomas, Ph.D. (Biology and Biochemistry) – Thomas is Director of the Bioinformatics Division and Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center within Keck School of Medicine of USC. His research focuses on computational methods for reconstructing gene evolution to understand the function of human genes, and how genetic factors may impact disease risk. Thomas is a Principal Investigator for the Gene Ontology project, which is among the world’s largest bioinformatics projects. He is known for the development of the PANTHER (Protein Analysis Through Evolutionary Relationships) web server, which is used by researchers worldwide seeking information about gene function and evolution.

For the full list of researchers, visit

–By USC Stevens staff, published March 17, 2016