ISB Wins Top Scientific Impact Rank

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The Institute for Systems Biology, a Seattle-based research center known for its entrepreneurial activity, was ranked No. 1 among all U.S. research institutions and No. 3 worldwide in terms of the impact of its scientific publications, according to an analysis by Spain-based SCImago Research Group.

The impact ranking was based on an institution’s total research output, how much it collaborates with other centers, the influence of its publications, how often they are cited by other scientists, and other factors. The full report examined the publication records of more than 2,100 research institutes around the world from 2003 to 2007.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the U.K. was ranked No. 1 worldwide in terms of the scientific impact, followed by the Institut National de Physique Nucleaire in France, and the Institute for Systems Biology—all of whom have impact ratings more than triple the worldwide average. Seattle’s other research institutions were well-represented in the report, too, with both The University of Washington School of Medicine and the rest of the University of Washington campus in the top 20 worldwide in terms of research output, and with scientific impact ratings that were more than double the worldwide average. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s impact rating was also more than double the worldwide average.

“It’s great to see that an independent analysis of outcomes demonstrates that we were on track 10 years ago,” Institute president Leroy Hood said in a statement.

The Institute for Systems Biology was founded in 2000 by Hood, Alan Aderem, and Reudi Aebersold, in order to foster cross-disciplinary research that looks at whole biological systems, rather than single genes or proteins in isolation. While the Institute has worked hard to establish its chops with scientific peers, it also seeks to apply its work in the broader business world. The Institute co-founded the Accelerator for launching new biotech companies in 2003, and has most recently given birth to a new company called Integrated Diagnostics that seeks to detect cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases much earlier through looking for biomarkers that can be found in a pinprick of blood.

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