Ten APC Microbiome Ireland researchers have been named in the 2018 world list of Highly Cited Researchers. Determined by their peers around the globe, these are researchers who are most highly cited in research publications by their peers, and which positions them in the very highest strata of influence and impact. The list includes 17 Nobel laureates. Now in its fifth year, the citation analysis, compiled by Clarivate Analytics, identifies influential researchers who are leading the way in solving the world’s biggest challenges.

The ten APC Microbiome Ireland researchers are based in University College Cork and Teagasc and work in the areas of food, microbiome and health.  Five of the APC researchers are in the new Cross-Field category which identifies researchers with substantial influence across several research fields during the last decade. Four of the 10 APC researchers were also included in the 2017 list.

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “I would like to congratulate the ten researchers from the SFI Research Centre APC Microbiome Ireland on being included in the prestigious Highly Cited list 2018. Research excellence and global thought leadership are at the core of SFI Research Centres and their primary objective is to deliver significant economic and societal impact. To have ten researchers who are working to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges in the areas of food, microbiome and health, ranked in the top 1% of their fields alongside Nobel laureates, is a fantastic achievement.”

Prof Fergus Shanahan, Director of APC Microbiome Ireland, saluted his colleagues and said “it is great to see APC scientists ranked in the top bracket of science, yet again, and it is testimony to what can be achieved by talented individuals who work together.”

The ten APC researchers named are:

Prof Elke Arendt, Professor for Cereals & Beverage Science, School of Food & Nutritional Sciences, UCC and Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland. Her research in the area of food and health is related to cereals and beverages, including gluten free, starter cultures, antimicrobial agents, food structure, brewing and malting and functional foods.

Dr Paul Cotter, Head of Department of Food Biosciences at Teagasc Food Research Centre and Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland. His research focuses on the microbiology and microbiomes of food (especially fermented and other dairy foods), food processing and production environments and the gastrointestinal tract with a view to maintaining/establishing a healthy gut microbiota through dietary interventions, especially in athletes.  

Prof John Cryan, Head of Dept. of Anatomy & Neuroscience, UCC and Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland. His research interests include the neurobiological basis of stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety and drug dependence. His group is also focused on understanding the interaction between brain, gut and the gut microbiome and how it applies to stress and immune-related disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, obesity and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder.

Prof Ted Dinan, Professor of Psychiatry, UCC and Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland. His main research interest is on the role of the gut microbiota in influencing brain function and development.  Within this context he has focused on depression and irritable bowel syndrome. He has made significant contributions to the literature on the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in situations of stress. 

Prof Ger Fitzgerald, Professor of Food Microbiology, Head of the School of Microbiology, UCC and Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland. His research interests span fundamental and applied aspects of the industrially important Lactic Acid Bacteria which are used in the production of fermented foods and probiotics.

Prof Colin Hill, Professor of Microbial Food Safety, School of Microbiology, UCC and Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland. His research interests are in infectious disease, particularly in defining the mechanisms of virulence of foodborne pathogens and in developing strategies to prevent and limit the consequences of microbial infections in the gastrointestinal tract including the use of bacteriocins and bacteriophages. 

Dr Orla O’Sullivan, Research Officer in Teagasc Food Research Centre and Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland.  Her research focuses on elucidating the microbiome from various environments including human gut and lung, rumen and food. Of particular interest to her is the role of exercise and diet, specifically whey protein, on the human gut microbiome both in healthy and diseased cohorts.

Prof Paul O’Toole, Professor of Microbial Genomics, School of Microbiology, UCC and Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland. His research focuses on the genomics of gastrointestinal bacteria in humans with emphasis on commensal species and host interaction. He is particularly interested in the relationships between the composition and function of the gut microbiota, its interaction with habitual diet, and its relationship to health, functional gastrointestinal disorders, and ageing.

Prof Paul Ross, Head of College of Science Engineering & Food Science, UCC and Principal Investigator, APC Microbiome Ireland. His research in food and health includes the development of new antibiotics and anti-infectives, bacteriophage (viruses that infect only bacterial cells), human and animal pathogens, and how the gut microbiota influences health.

Prof Catherine Stanton, Senior Research Officer, Teagasc, Dept. Psychiatry, UCC and Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland. Her research includes nutritional aspects of dairy and functional foods, probiotic cultures, bioactive metabolite production, infant gut microbiota, and healthy proteins and fats (including conjugated linoleic acid, short chain fatty acids) that are produced by gut bacteria. She is also very interested in the microbiome during pregnancy and in infancy.

In total 33 Irish researchers feature in the 2018 list. The full Highly Cited Researchers 2018 list and executive summary can be found online at https://clarivate.com/hcr/