Two RWTH Scientists Among the World's Most Cited Researchers


Professors Fabian Kiessling and Twan Lammers are included in this year’s list of “Highly Cited Researchers”.


Medical researcher Fabian Kiessling and pharmacologist Twan Lammers are among the most frequently cited researchers worldwide. Both RWTH professors have already been listed as Highly Cited Researchers in the past two years.

Fabian Kiessling has been Chair of Experimental Molecular Imaging since 2008 and is one of the directors of the Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. Previously, he headed the Molecular Diagnostics Group and the Molecular Imaging Junior Research Group at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. Kiessling is one of the pioneers of molecular imaging in Germany and has made groundbreaking contributions to volumetric area detector computed tomography, super-resolution and molecular ultrasound imaging as well as tumor-targeted nanomedicine therapy. These medical technologies allow diseases to be better characterized at both the molecular and physiological levels and it allows therapies to be tailored to patients.

Twan Lammers is head of the Department of Nanomedicines and Theranostics at RWTH. In 2009, he joined the Institute of Experimental Molecular Imaging as working group leader and in 2014, he became professor of nanomedicine and theranostics. In 2012, Lammers was awarded an ERC Starting Grant and in 2019, an ERC Consolidator Grant. He was also awarded two ERC Proof of Concept Grants in 2015 and 2018 respectively. He focuses on pharmaceutical technology, modulation of the tumor microenvironment, and image-guided, tumor-targeted drug delivery.

Spokespersons for the “Tumor-Targeted Drug Delivery” Research Training Group

The Tumor-Targeted Drug Delivery Research Training Group researches cancer nanotherapies and targeted delivery systems. For example, the efficacy of immunotherapy will be enhanced using new drug delivery systems and nanomedicine-based formulations, with mRNA and siRNA also investigated as promising tools for therapy. In addition, artificial intelligence offers great potential for diagnostics and precision therapy. The group is, therefore, analyzing the added value of machine learning, for example, for formulation optimization, patient selection, therapy response, their monitoring and individualized treatment. In vitro and in vivo studies are associated with the development of new platforms.

Highly Cited Researchers are determined from papers that rank in the top one percent by citations for a field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index. Accordingly, researchers whose publications feature in the one percent of the most frequently cited publications in their field are included in the list. This year, the list includes 7,125 scientists worldwide.

In research, citations serve as an indicator of the significance of a publication and are also perceived as a measure of quality of the work. The more a paper is referenced by other scientific research papers, the higher its visibility and, thus, also the worldwide perception of the author. “We see this award as a great achievement for the entire institute and are delighted that our work has been well received by the scientific community,” say Kießling and Lammers, who are both also members of the Medical Science & Technology (MedST) Profile Area at RWTH.