Division of Infection and Immunity


Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla named in annual global list of influential researchers

16 November 2021

Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla was one of 48 UCL academics have been identified as “one in 1,000 Citation Elite” on Clarivate’s annual ‘Highly Cited Researchers List’ 2021, which recognises authors of the most influential research papers around the world.


With 38 primary and 10 secondary affiliations, UCL has the 3rd most in the UK behind the universities of Oxford and Cambridge - and ranks 4th in Europe and 26th in the world overall.

UCL researchers were present in 10 of the 17 academic fields listed, namely: Clinical Medicine; Cross-Field; Environment & Ecology; Immunology; Molecular Biology & Genetics; Neuroscience & Behaviour; Pharmacology & Toxicology; Psychiatry & Psychology; Social Sciences; and Space Science. Professor Zumla was recognised in the ‘Immunology’ category.

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement), said: “To be included in this list is a great achievement, and highlights the global influence of UCL’s brilliant researchers - as well as the dedication of our professional staff who play a role in this success.

 “The broad citation impact across 10 academics fields, including a large number of ‘cross-field’ researchers, clearly reflects our university’s excellence in cross-disciplinary investigation and discovery.”

The list identifies around 6,600 researchers from across the globe who have demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field(s) through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.

The names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index, with the list also used to identify the research institutions and countries where the citation elite are based.

With 492 researchers on the list (or 7.5% of the total), the UK comes in third globally after the US and China, who have 2,622 (39.7%) and 935 (14.2%) respectively. With a population 1/5 the size of the United States and 1/20 the size of Mainland China, the UK has a particularly high number of researchers at the very top of their fields in terms of citation impact.

Joel Haspel, SVP Strategy, Science at Clarivate said: “This year’s data reflect a decade’s worth of research publications from the global scientific community. As well as documenting the ‘Eureka!’ moments, our data tell the story of late nights spent filling in grant applications, poring over results in the lab, the unsung work of peer reviewing contemporaries’ manuscripts, and the many small failures that ultimately lead to bigger successes and accelerating innovation.”

David Pendlebury Senior Citation Analyst at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate said: “It is increasingly important for nations and institutions to recognize and support the exceptional researchers who are driving the expansion of the world’s knowledge. This list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers at UCL who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers. The research they have contributed is fuelling the innovation, sustainability, health and security that is key for our society’s future.”



  • Image credit: Clarivate Web of Science 

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