Fellows named as Highly Cited Researchers

Thursday 30 November 2023

Two Fellows of St Catharine’s have been named as Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate. Professor Anthony Davenport (1995; Emeritus Fellow 2023) and Professor Sir Peter Barnes FRS (1966, Medical Sciences; Honorary Fellow 2011) are among the 6,849 Highly Cited Researchers named this year from more than 1,300 institutions in 67 nations and regions. 

Bar Veinstein, President of Academia & Government at Clarivate, announced the new list by saying:

“We celebrate the Highly Cited Researchers whose contributions transform our world by helping to make it healthier, more sustainable and more secure. Recognition of Highly Cited Researchers not only validates research excellence but also enhances reputation, fosters collaboration, and informs resource allocation, acting as a beacon for academic institutions and commercial organisations.”

A Director of Studies in Preclinical Medicine and Pharmacology at St Catharine’s, Professor Davenport has been listed as a Highly Cited Researcher every year since 2018 and his publications have been cited 22,780 times, including in 251 patents. He was part of a team who recently published a paper in Nature identifying an off-patent drug that can be repurposed to prevent COVID-19 by targeting the doorway by which SARS-CoV-2 enters our cells, a receptor on the cell surface known as ACE-2. 

He said, “Recognition as a Highly Cited Researcher reflects the many talented collaborators that I have been privileged to work with during the last decade, in the very active field of pharmacology and drug discovery. I was also fortunate at the start of 2020 that my group were studying ACE-2, an important protein in the human cardiovascular system, when it was identified as the viral entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2. During the pandemic when many labs were closed, we pivoted our research to work with colleagues in Medicine and external to the Department, to identify drugs blocking viral entry. This successful research has been made possible by the award of external grants mainly from biomedical charities.”

Professor Anthony Davenport
Professor Anthony Davenport (credit: Julian Johnson)

Professor Sir Peter Barnes has edited over 50 books and published over 1500 peer-review papers on asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and related topics with over 150,000 citations. He was first listed as a Highly Cited Researcher back in 2016, and is currently the most highly cited researcher in pulmonary disease across the world (and the third in medical research). He was knighted for services to Respiratory Science earlier in 2023.

He added, “My research has been into the underlying mechanisms and treatment of asthma and COPD, which are two of the commonest diseases in the world. I did research into the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of asthma and COPD before this became fashionable and this provided us with a better understanding of which treatments are effective in these diseases.”

Sir Peter’s highest cited publications include a 1994 Lancet paper of showing that nitric oxide in the breath can be used to measure inflammation in asthmatic airways (now a routine test in the clinic) and a 2005 New England Journal of Medicine article establishing the molecular mechanisms that mean people with COPD have increased lung inflammation compared to normal smokers and why they do not response to steroid treatments.

Professor Sir Peter Barnes
Professor Sir Peter Barnes (credit: Imperial College London)

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