News Archive 2014

Two UCD researchers among most "influential names in science"

Wednesday, 09 July, 2014 

Professor Desmond Higgins and Professor Colm O'Donnell are featured in a compilation of Highly Cited Researchers in the sciences and social sciences published by Thomson Reuters.According the Thomson Reuters, the list is a “compilation of influential names in science” and spotlights “some of the standout researchers of the last decade”.“

The listings of Highly Cited Researchers feature authors whose published work in their specialty areas has consistently been judged by peers to be of particular significance and utility”.“Highly Cited Papers” are defined as those that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year indexed in the Web of Science, which is generally but not always year of publication.Only articles and reviews in science and social sciences journals indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection during the 11-year period 2002-2012 were surveyed. Rather than using total citations as a measure of influence or ‘impact,’ only Highly Cited Papers were considered.

Professor Desmond Higgins is Professor of Bioinformatics at the UCD Conway Institute, University College Dublin and Principal Investigator at Systems Biology Ireland. He has been working in the areas of bioinformatics and molecular evolution since 1985, predominantly on methods and software for DNA and protein sequence alignment. He wrote a series of programs, called Clustal, which, have become the most widely used software for developing solutions to the impracticality of sequence alignment. He has continued to work on Clustal, developing new programs and improved interfaces.

In the last year, his lab developed and released CLUSTAL Omega software which provides a new generation of alignment software scaled to cope with the enormous datasets that modern science can effortlessly generate. His research group in the UCD Conway Institute currently works on developing new bioinformatics and statistical tools for evolutionary biologists, the application of multivariate analysis of "omics" data, and addresses molecular evolutionary questions using bioinformatics approaches.

Professor Colm O'Donnell is Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning at the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture, University College Dublin. He leads a Food Engineering research group within the UCD School of Biosystems Engineering, focusing on Food Process Analytical Technology and Novel  Food Processing Technologies.  His research is funded through various competitively won sources: the EU 7th Framework Programme, Irish Research Council, Irish Government's Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Enterprise Ireland and industry.

He is Head of the Food Quality and Processing Pillar within the UCD Institute of Food and Health.Current research projects include Development of Process Analytical Technology Solutions for Quality and Safety Improvement in Dairy Ingredient Manufacture and Ultrasound Assisted Extraction in Food Processing.  Members of his research group have been awarded 3 Marie Curie IOF Fellowships and 1 European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant under the EU 7th Framework programme.

He is Editor of the International Journal of Food Properties and Associate Editor (Food Engineering) of Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).He is an elected member of the Food Processing technical committee of the ASABE, and Chair of the International Federation for Process Analysis & Control (IFPAC) Dairy Processing technical committee. He has led UCD’s involvement in a number of internationally funded Biosystems Engineering  and Food Engineering research and educational initiatives including EU Tempus,  Lifelong Learning, Comett and Alfa programmes with industry and academic partners in Europe and  America. His industry collaborations have resulted in two patents.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)

Irish Times