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Three Van Andel Institute scientists named to elite Highly Cited Researchers list

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Nov. 15, 2023) — Van Andel Institute scientists Peter A. Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc. (hon), Russell Jones, Ph.D., and Peter W. Laird, Ph.D., have been included in this year’s Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers list, a distinction marking them as leaders in their fields.

The greatly anticipated annual list identifies researchers who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen area or areas of study through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. Their 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. Only 1 in 1,000 scientists are included on the 2023 list.

Citations, or references to a scientist’s published work by other researchers, are universally considered to be a measure of influence and impact in the scientific community. Jones, Jones and Laird have appeared on the list in previous years.

“The Highly Cited Researchers list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers at Van Andel Institute whose significant and broad influence in their fields translates to impact in their research community and innovations that make the world healthier, more sustainable and more secure. Their contributions resonate far beyond their individual achievements, strengthening the foundation of excellence and innovation in research,” said David Pendlebury, Head of Research Analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate.

Dr. Peter Jones, Van Andel Institute
Dr. Peter Jones, Van Andel Institute

Peter A. Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc. (hon)
Chief Scientific Officer, Van Andel Institute

Peter A. Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc. (hon), is a pioneer in epigenetics, a growing field that explores how genes are regulated and provides new avenues for developing therapies for cancer and other diseases. His discoveries have helped usher in an entirely new class of drugs that have been approved to treat blood cancer and are being investigated in other tumor types. Jones is a past president of the American Association for Cancer Research, a Fellow of the AACR Academy, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Image of Russell Jones, Ph.D.
Dr. Russell Jones, Van Andel Institute

Russell Jones, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Metabolism and Nutritional Programming, Van Andel Institute

Russell Jones, Ph.D., investigates metabolism at the cellular level to understand how it affects cell behavior and health, with a specific eye on cancer and the immune system. By revealing how cancer cells use metabolic processes to fuel their growth and spread, he hopes to develop new treatments that help patients by changing the standard of care for cancer. He is an elected member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada and an Allen Distinguished Investigator in Immunometabolism.

Peter W. Laird, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Epigenetics, Van Andel Institute

Dr. Peter Laird, Van Andel Institute

Peter W. Laird, Ph.D., explores the origins of epigenetic mistakes in cancer, which can provide insight into how cancer arises. Laird has developed several cutting-edge technologies, which he leverages to identify crucial epigenetic alterations that convert otherwise healthy cells into cancer cells. He is a principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute’s Genome Data Analysis Network and served in a leadership role for The Cancer Genome Atlas, a now-completed multi-institutional effort to molecularly map 33 different types of cancer.

ABOUT VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE

Van Andel Institute (VAI) is committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations through cutting edge biomedical research and innovative educational offerings. Established in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1996 by the Van Andel family, VAI is now home to more than 500 scientists, educators and support staff, who work with a growing number of national and international collaborators to foster discovery. The Institute’s scientists study the origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases and translate their findings into breakthrough prevention and treatment strategies. Our educators develop inquiry-based approaches for K-12 education to help students and teachers prepare the next generation of problem-solvers, while our Graduate School offers a rigorous, research-intensive Ph.D. program in molecular and cellular biology.