Biochemistry, energy researcher named to 2017 “Highly Cited” list


Photo of John Ralph
Biochemistry professor and energy researcher John Ralph.

John Ralph, biochemistry professor and researcher with the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI), has been named to Clarivate Analytics’ 2017 list of “Highly Cited Researchers.”

Ralph’s research areas include biofuels and other bioproducts, as well as plant genetics and breeding. His research group is recognized for their work with lignin, the polymer that strengthens plant cell walls.

Lignin often makes it difficult to break down woody plants for biofuels, paper, and other products. Ralph’s team works to analyze lignin and redesign it to be more readily degraded. He has been recognized with this honor every year for the last 10 years.

“As nice as this honor is, and to be appreciated in such prestigious company, this impact is due to a fantastic group in the lab here,” Ralph says. “It’s also due to our fortunate affiliation with Biochemistry and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center/WEI, and in no small measure to wonderful collaborators world-wide.”

Clarivate Analytics is an analytics and data firm that releases information on researchers each year. According to the company, the highly cited list “identifies the most frequently cited researchers as determined by the extent to which their papers have supported, influenced, inspired and challenged other researchers around the globe. It identifies authors who have consistently won peer approval from international researchers in the form of high citation counts.”

Three other Wisconsin Energy Institute researchers were on the list. Those named include James Dumesic, professor of chemical and biological engineering; George Huber, UW–Madison professor of chemical and biological engineering; and UW–Madison professor of chemistry, Shannon Stahl.

This story was adapted from a news story by Krista Eastman on the Wisconsin Energy Institute website.