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Professor Ranked Nation's Top Plant Scientist


UCR Professor Ranked Nation's Top Plant Scientist Based on References to His Research

Jian-Kang Zhu's scientific articles received more than 5,400 citations in last decade

(July 10, 2008)

Jian-Kang Zhu holds the Jane S. Johnson Chair in Plant Sciences as well as a University of California Presidential Chair, and is a faculty member in UCR's Department of Botany and Plant Sciences.

Jian-Kang Zhu holds the Jane S. Johnson Chair in Plant Sciences as well as a University of California Presidential Chair, and is a faculty member in UCR's Department of Botany and Plant Sciences.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Jian-Kang Zhu, a faculty member in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, is the most cited plant scientist in the United States for 1997-2007, according to a survey by ScienceWatch.com, an open Web resource for science metrics and analysis. Zhu's 5,405 citations — references to his research work in other scholars' articles — earned him a #4 ranking internationally.

The holder of the Jane S. Johnson Chair in Plant Sciences as well as a University of California Presidential Chair, Zhu is the former director of the Institute for Integrative Genome Biology. He joined the UCR faculty in 2004, after appointments at the University of Arizona and Auburn University and a postdoctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University, where he was a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellow.

While at Arizona, Zhu was named Researcher of the Year by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2002. The following year he received the Charles Albert Shull Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists. In 2004 he was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which cited him for his pioneering research in the field of plant stress biology research — work that fundamentally changed the perspective and direction of research in the field and that receives many citations from scientists around the world.

A UCR alumnus, Zhu received a master's degree in botany from UCR in 1990 after graduating from Beijing Agricultural University with a bachelor's degree in soils and agricultural chemistry in 1987. He earned a doctorate at Purdue University in plant physiology in 1993.

The long-term goals of his research program, Zhu says, are "to elucidate the signaling pathways used by plants in responding to environmental stresses and to identify key genes for modifying the responses of crops to environmental stresses, which ultimately will lead to major contributions to agriculture and the environment."

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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