Melatonin expert ranks among world’s most-cited scientists

Posted: Thursday, November 30, 2006
Contact: Will Sansom
Phone: (210) 567-2579

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Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D., whose research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is yielding clues about the anti-oxidant hormone melatonin’s protective and regulatory effects on the body, recently was added to a prestigious listing of the world’s most highly cited scientists.

The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) placed Dr. Reiter, professor of cellular and structural biology, on the list of the most highly cited scientists in the field of biology and biochemistry. This list contains the names of only 279 researchers. (See

The purpose of the list is to “highlight the accomplishments of authors whose work has significantly influenced scientific literature,” according to the ISI. Listing is by invitation only.

The number of times an author’s published work is cited by other scientists is an important yardstick for objectively measuring his research productivity and impact on his field. In 2005, the ISI index began utilizing a new objective measurement called the h-index, which is calculated according to number of papers along with number of citations per paper.

If a scientist has 25 papers that have been cited 25 times or more, his h-index is 25. Dr. Reiter’s current h-index is 74, ranking him highly among scientists with at least 20 years of experience. Dr. Reiter received his Ph.D. in 1964 from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and joined the Health Science Center faculty in 1971. He has been recognized with three honorary degrees and numerous other awards. In 1998, he was the recipient of the inaugural Presidential Distinguished Scholar Award at the Health Science Center.

Other Health Science Center faculty on the list of ISI highly cited scientists include Peter T. Fox, M.D.; Stephen M. Haffner, M.D.; C. Alex McMahan, Ph.D.; Michael G. Rinaldi, Ph.D.; Ralph A. DeFronzo, M.D.; Edward J. Masoro, Ph.D.; and Byung P. Yu, Ph.D.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $500 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $14 billion biosciences and health care industry, the leading sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $34 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 22,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, click on

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