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QIMR Berghofer geneticist named in world’s top 100 highly cited researchers

QIMR Berghofer Senior Scientist Professor Nick Martin has been ranked 90th in a list of the world’s most highly cited researchers.

Professor Martin is recognised as a world leader in the genetics of mental health disorders and psychological traits.

He heads QIMR Berghofer’s Genetic Epidemiology Research Group. He joined the Institute in 1986, and has contributed to more than 1400 scientific papers over his career.

Professor Martin has made major contributions to genetic research into anxiety, depression, alcoholism, melanoma and other conditions.

He founded the Australian Twin Registry and for decades has conducted research into twins to unravel the different roles of genetics and environment in various behavioural and psychological traits.

Professor Martin also developed, and was the first to publish, many of the statistical genetic techniques that are now widely used.

He is currently leading the Australian Genetics of Depression Study and the Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative, which are the Australian arms of major international collaborations that aim to discover the genetic influences on these mental health conditions.

Professor Martin said he was pleased to be named in the top 100, along with leading scientists like Anthony Fauci, Graham Colditz and Ken Kendler.

“This ranking is the culmination of my entire career spent in human genetic research, and I’d like to acknowledge the many staff, students and collaborators who have contributed to the studies I have led,” Professor Martin said.

The list – part of the “Webometrics Ranking of World Universities” – is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group at Spain’s largest public research organisation, the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas.

The rankings are based primarily on h-index, according to the scientists’ public profiles in the Google Scholar Citations database. Any tied positions were then ranked by total number of citations.

The list was based on data collected during the first week of March 2021. It only includes living scientists who provide an email address in their Google Scholar account. 

QIMR Berghofer’s Director and CEO, Professor Fabienne Mackay, congratulated Professor Martin on the accolade.

“It is a major achievement to be named in any list of the world’s most highly cited researchers, but to be named in the top 100 is extraordinary,” Professor Mackay said.

“Professor Martin has dedicated his working life to helping us understand how genetics and environment affect psychological traits and mental health conditions.

“This research is only becoming more important as the need to find new treatments for mental illness grows.”