Online databases and digitally-accessible scientific journals afford not only the instant availability of nearly any of the world's collected knowledge at any given moment, but an associated collection of lifetime statistics on just about any topic, author or published work. This includes the number of times that the work of an individual author is cited by other authors in their own works.
The Cullen College of Engineering's Technology Division is proud to host one of the most highly-cited researchers of 2023, as named by Clarivate in their Highly Cited Researchers analysis for the year.
Abdul Latif Khan, assistant professor of Biotechnology, was recognized by Clarivate as one of the top 1 percent most-cited plant and animal science researchers last year. It came as an unexpected – though appreciated – surprise.
"I was very happy to see my name there, though I certainly wasn't expecting it," Khan said. "I'm also happy that as a part of the University of Houston, I'm representing those 7,000 or so other scientists [who were recognized] as well. I feel very proud of that."
Khan reports that over the last three years, he has seen citations of his works increase by approximately twofold each year. He continues to gain momentum, and he attributes these developments to the timeliness of his research.
"Because of these problems with climate change, people are moving toward more environmentally-friendly technologies and strategies to grow food and other important crops. Most of my research is based on identifying microorganisms with the potential to mitigate climatic stress conditions, so that could definitely be one of the reasons that people are focusing on this area and my citation counts are increasing," he said.
"One of my most highly-cited papers concerns an endophytic fungus that produces gibberellins and indoleacetic acid, which promote host growth during climatic stress conditions. Another one concerns bacteria that promote growth and salinity tolerance in plants, and still another is about a bacterium I found producing hormones to improve tomato plant growth. I feel that these current demands for moving toward more environmentally-friendly approaches are driving the trend."
Khan now intends to further diversify the scope of his research by taking the work out into the field, where real-world conditions will allow him to put his years of existing findings to the test.
“Research fuels the race for knowledge, and it is important that nations and institutions celebrate the individuals who drive the wheel of innovation,” said David Pendlebury, head of research analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate. “These individuals are helping to transform human ingenuity into our world’s greatest breakthroughs – and it is an honor to celebrate their achievements.”