RWTH Professors Featured Among the World's Most-Cited Researchers


Three RWTH professors made it onto the list of Highly Cited Researchers 2021 in the field of pharmacology and toxicology. According to the list, published by Clarivate Analytics, the most frequently cited researchers worldwide include Professor Fabian Kiessling and Professor Twan Lammers. Both have been listed as Highly Cited Researchers since 2019. In addition, Professor Joost van Dongen, last listed in 2018, also features on this year's list.


Fabian Kießling has led the Chair of Experimental Molecular Imaging since 2008. He was previously head of the Molecular Diagnostics Group and the Junior Research Group Molecular Imaging at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. Kießling researches imaging techniques and (nano-)diagnostics in order to better characterize diseases on a molecular and physiological level and thereby adapt therapies to the conditions in individual patients. In this regard, he is considered a pioneer of volumetric area detector computed tomography, motion model ultrasound localization microscopy (super-resolution ultrasound), and molecular ultrasound imaging.

All the methods mentioned above allow a detailed characterization of the connective tissue and the blood vessels in tissues, which, for example in malignant tumors, form critical barriers for drug delivery. Overcoming these barriers is often decisive for the success of the therapy.

Twan Lammers supervises the Department of Nanomedicine and Theranostics at RWTH. In 2009, Lammers joined the Institute of Experimental Molecular Imaging as a working group leader and in 2014, he took over the professorship in 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 and tumor-targeted drug delivery.

Joost van Dongen supervises the research group Molecular Ecology of the Rhizosphere. He researches how plants perceive their environment and how they implement this information in biochemical and physiological answers. Van Dongen, born in 1973, studied biology at the Universities of Utrecht and Wageningen. Before accepting the appointment at RWTH in May 2013, he worked at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam.

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. In research, citations serve as an indicator of the significance of a publication and are also perceived as a measure of the 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.