Faculty Among Top 100 Alzheimer's Researchers

Mary Margaret Colliver, 859-361-1887 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 6, 2009) - Two from the University of Kentucky-- Dr. William R. Markesbery and Dr. D. Allan Butterfield-- are ranked among the top 100 researchers in the world for the productivity and impact of their scientific study of Alzheimer's disease. The study ranking the researchers is published in the current issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (PDF, 226 KB).

Markesbery (ranked #23 on the list) is professor of pathology and neurology and Commonwealth Endowed Chair in Aging, UK College of Medicine, and director of the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center. Butterfield (ranked #39 on the list) is the UK Alumni Association Endowed Professor of Biological Chemistry and director of the UK Center of Membrane Sciences.

"I am deeply humbled to be named in the company of such outstanding scientists," said Markesbery. "I owe this honor to my many superb collaborators and staff who have worked in our Alzheimer's Disease Center, to the National Institute on Aging and private donors for research funding, and to the many patients and volunteers for their generous support in participating in our research."

"I am honored and humbled by this recognition, and I credit both the past and present members of my research group and the wonderful and exciting collaborations with outstanding UK faculty members, including Dr. Markesbery, for the success I have had in our NIH-funded Alzheimer's disease research," said Butterfield.

"It is extremely significant that two current UK scientists, Dr. William Markesbery and Dr. Allan Butterfield, and also two other scientists recently on the UK faculty, are among the world's top 100 Alzheimer's disease researchers," said Dr. Peter T. Nelson, assistant professor of pathology, Division of Neuropathology, UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. "Actually, both Dr. Markesbery and Dr. Butterfield are in the top 50 researchers, based on this entirely objective analysis from a Swiss group. Keep in mind that over a third of persons on that list are from outside the United States and some work in very different research areas. Many Ivy League schools, such as Yale and Princeton, have no scientists on that list. And almost no other public universities, or southern universities, have two.

"This is a singularly important research area for a devastating disease that will affect more and more people as the population ages. And the University of Kentucky is a true world's leader. If Dr. Markesbery and Dr. Butterfield were alone, it would be one thing, but there are other researchers at every level here that excel, including Dr. Stephen Scheff, Dr. Frederick Schmitt, Dr. Richard Kryscio, Dr. Lou Hersh, Dr. Charles Smith and Dr. Glenn Telling that are internationally recognized experts in the field. And younger Alzheimer's researchers like Dr. Elizabeth Head, Dr. Paul Murphy, Dr. Steven Estus, Dr. Christopher Norris, Dr. Mark Lovell, and Dr. Greg Jicha, are also truly outstanding. We have much to be proud of here when it comes to aging-related brain diseases."

The analysis included total citations, total publications, and H-index. The underlying data used in the tabulation of each dimension originated from MEDLINE and Thomson ISI Web of Science. The results were a brief analysis of the field of Alzheimer's disease research conducted with the underlying goal of understanding its importance first within the field of neurodegenerative diseases and subsequently within the greater realm of neuroscience research.

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