1st May 2008

Extracts from the Science Watch Rankings

Institutions Ranked by Citation Impact (2003-07)
Rank Institution Impact
1 Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute 136.7
2 EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute 133.3
3 Cancer Research UK 130.7
4 Royal Marsden Hospital 124.3
5 Western General Hospital 112.3

Genome Campus has Top Two in the UK

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and European Bioinformatics Institute top list of most influential UK research

The impact of research reports from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute makes them the top two most influential research institutions in the UK, according to results published this week. In addition, nine of the top 25 most influential UK researchers are current or recent staff at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge, UK, home to the two powerhouse institutes.

The results, published in Science Watch, rank scientific publications from UK institutions from 2003 to 2007 according to their impact among researchers. The listing put the Sanger Institute's Dr Richard Durbin at number one in influence.

Science Watch measured the number of times that influential reports were referred to by other researchers (citations). The aggregate results positioned the Sanger Institute at nine and the EMBL-EBI at 14 within the UK - in amongst much larger organizations such as the Universities of Bristol, Sheffield, Southampton and the Medical Research Council.

When the number of citations was calculated per scientific report - the average impact of each paper - the Sanger Institute jumped to first and EMBL-EBI to second. On average, the 170 high-impact reports from the two institutes garnered more than 135 citations, almost twice the amount for the University of Cambridge, for example.

"The vision was always for the Genome Campus to drive the coming revolution in genomics and informatics," says Professor Allan Bradley, Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

"The 2003-7 Science Watch rankings, placing the two institutions at 1 and 2 in influential papers and putting so many of our staff in the top 25, is a measure of what the staff here have achieved in the past dozen years. The rankings are a tribute to the work of all the scientists listed but, more important, to the work of all the staff in the EBI and the Sanger Institute. I am delighted for them."

" We have been fortunate to have worked in such a wonderful environment on such important and influential research.The recognition of our work at the Genome Campus today rests on the strategic investment in these resources by UK and European funding bodies, especially the Wellcome Trust and the EU, to drive forward biomedical benefit. "

Dr Richard Durbin

The Sanger Institute played a leading role in the Human Genome Project and, together with EMBL-EBI, developed the Ensembl web browser, which allows access to the human and other genome sequences. Bioinformatics, the application of computer power to understanding biology, is an essential part of modern research and is revolutionising our understanding of genetics and its role in health and disease.

"We're delighted that the excellent research published by the EBI in league with its many international collaborators has been useful and relevant to so many researchers" says Professor Janet Thornton, Director of EMBL-EBI. "This highlights the tremendous importance of bioinformatics to modern molecular biology."

The Genome Campus, nestled next to the small village of Hinxton, is a powerhouse of UK research. Founded in 1993 and 1997, respectively, the Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI have been involved in some of the most important biological and biomedical research, including the Human Genome Project, the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium and The 1000 Genomes Project.

Dr Durbin, who co-heads The 1000 Genomes Project, says: "Genomics and bioinformatics - terms unrecognizable to biologists a couple of decades ago - are the spearheads of modern biology. We have been fortunate to have worked in such a wonderful environment on such important and influential research."

"My own background is in mathematics and computation, but all my significant work has been in interdisciplinary teams with others, collectively building knowledge and resources for future biological research. The recognition of our work at the Genome Campus today rests on the strategic investment in these resources by UK and European funding bodies, especially the Wellcome Trust and the EU, to drive forward biomedical benefit."

For this analysis, Science Watch drew on its database of highly-cited papers - those reports published between 2003 and 2007 that rank, in their respective fields of science and the social sciences, among the top 1% most-cited for their given years of publication.

Extracts from the Science Watch Rankings

Institutions Ranked by Citation Impact (2003-07)
Rank Institution Impact
1 Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute 136.7
2 EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute 133.3
3 Cancer Research UK 130.7
4 Royal Marsden Hospital 124.3
5 Western General Hospital 112.3

Authors ranked by Citations (2003-07)
Rank Name Institution No. high-impact papers Citations
1 Richard Durbin Sanger Institute 16 4335
5 Sam Griffiths-Jones University of Manchester (Sanger Institute until December 2006) 13 3596
9 Rolf Apweiler European Bioinformatics Institute 22 3167
11 Jane Rogers Sanger Institute (until June 2007) 9 2354
12 Rodrigo Lopez European Bioinformatics Institute 12 2248
13 Alex Bateman Sanger Institute 11 2215
14 Ewan Birney European Bioinformatics Institute 15 2067
21 Abel Ureta-Vidal European Bioinformatics Institute 9 1743
22 Matt Berriman Sanger Institute 14 1738

Institutions Ranked by Total Citations (2003-07)
Rank Institution Citations
1 University of Oxford 47,392
2 University of Cambridge 44,140
3 Imperial College London 41,042
4 University College London 24,905
5 University of Edinburgh 20,699
6 University of Glasgow 16,051
7 University of Manchester 15,641
8 University of Birmingham 13,738
9 Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute 13,393
10 Medical Research Council 12,728
11 University of Bristol 12,463
12 King's College London 10,532
13 University of Sheffield 9,515
14 EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute 9,467

Notes to Editors

  1. The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)

    The European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and is located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton near Cambridge (UK). The EBI grew out of EMBL's pioneering work in providing public biological databases to the research community. It hosts some of the world's most important collections of biological data, including DNA sequences (EMBL-Bank), protein sequences (UniProt), animal genomes (Ensembl), three-dimensional structures (the Macromolecular Structure Database), data from microarray experiments (ArrayExpress), protein-protein interactions (IntAct) and pathway information (Reactome). The EBI hosts several research groups and its scientists continually develop new tools for the biocomputing community.

  2. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory

    The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is a basic research institute funded by public research monies from 20 member states (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) and associate member state Australia. Research at EMBL is conducted by approximately 80 independent groups covering the spectrum of molecular biology. The Laboratory has five units: the main Laboratory in Heidelberg, and Outstations in Hinxton (the European Bioinformatics Institute), Grenoble, Hamburg, and Monterotondo near Rome. The cornerstones of EMBL's mission are: to perform basic research in molecular biology; to train scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to offer vital services to scientists in the member states; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and to actively engage in technology transfer activities. EMBL's International PhD Programme has a student body of about 170. The Laboratory also sponsors an active Science and Society programme. Visitors from the press and public are welcome.

    Websites




The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which receives the majority of its funding from the Wellcome Trust, was founded in 1992. The Institute is responsible for the completion of the sequence of approximately one-third of the human genome as well as genomes of model organisms and more than 90 pathogen genomes. In October 2006, new funding was awarded by the Wellcome Trust to exploit the wealth of genome data now available to answer important questions about health and disease.

Websites

The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. We are independent of both political and commercial interests.

Website

Sanger Institute Contact Information:

Don Powell Press Officer
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Hinxton, Cambs, CB10 1SA, UK

Tel +44 (0)1223 496 928
Mobile +44 (0)7753 7753 97
Fax +44 (0)1223 494 919
Email press.office@sanger.ac.uk

* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/n9gyzobx