December 10, 2019

Ten academics from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health were recently named Highly Cited Researchers, according to the Highly Cited Researchers 2019 list from the Web of Science Group.

Ten Gillings faculty members are among Web of Science's Highly Cited Researchers for 2019.

From left to right Top: Dr. Ralph Baric, Dr. Noel Brewer, Dr. Myron Cohen, Dr. Stephen Cole Middle: Dr. Kelly Evenson, Dr. David Margolis, Dr. Hans Paerl Bottom: Dr. Barry Popkin, Dr. Kurt Ribisl, Dr. Jason Surratt

This acclaimed list identifies scientists and social scientists who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field and year of publication, demonstrating significant research influence among their peers.

From the Gillings School, those faculty include:

Ralph S. Baric, PhD, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of epidemiology. Baric’s research specializes in coronaviruses and emerging infections.

Noel T. Brewer, PhD, professor of health behavior. Brewer’s research explores why people engage in vaccination and other health behaviors that prevent cancer.

Myron Cohen, MD, professor epidemiology and Yeargan-Bate Eminent Distinguished Professor of medicine, microbiology, and immunology at the UNC School of Medicine. Cohen is also director of the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and UNC-Chapel Hill’s associate vice chancellor for global health. His research focuses on the transmission and prevention of HIV, with emphasis on the role played by STD coinfections.

Stephen R. Cole, PhD, professor of epidemiology. Dr. Cole studies causal inference and the methods of epidemiology, including the design and analysis of randomized experiments and observational studies.

Kelly R. Evenson, PhD, professor of epidemiology. Evenson’s research focuses on physical activity and sedentary behavior, with specific interests in measurement, surveillance, intervention and associations with outcomes.

David M Margolis, MD, professor of epidemiology and director for the UNC HIV Cure Center. His research focuses on molecular mechanisms of HIV proviral latency and persistence despite potent antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Hans W. Paerl, PhD, professor of marine and environmental sciences and engineering and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor at the Institute of Marine Sciences. His research specializes in water quality, eutrophication, harmful algal bloom and food web dynamics of freshwater and marine ecosystems, locally, nationally and internationally.

Barry M. Popkin, PhD, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of nutrition. Popkin’s research focuses globally on understanding the stages of nutrition transition, which is the study of the dynamic shifts in dietary intake and physical activity patterns and trends around obesity and other nutrition-related noncommunicable diseases.

Kurt M. Ribisl, PhD, Jo Anne Earp Distinguished Professor and Department Chair of health behavior. Ribisl’s research focuses on evaluating and improving the reach of population-level efforts to reduce tobacco use, with a particular emphasis on policy and information technology.

Jason D. Surratt, PhD, professor and co-chair of undergraduate studies in environmental sciences and engineering. Surratt’s research specializes in the atmospheric multiphase chemistry that leads to air pollution — specifically, suspended fine particulate matter (PM2.5). His fundamental lab and field studies have helped to improve air quality predictions of PM2.5 levels resulting from interactions of natural and human emissions. These types of PM2.5 have been recently assessed for their potential human health effects through toxicological studies involving human lung cells.

The methodology that determines the who’s who of influential researchers draws on the data and analysis performed by bibliometric experts from the Institute for Scientific Information at the Web of Science Group.

The data are taken from 21 broad research fields within Essential Science Indicators, a component of InCites. The fields are defined by sets of journals and exceptionally, in the case of multidisciplinary journals such as Nature and Science, by a paper-by-paper assignment to a field based on an analysis of the cited references in the papers. This percentile-based selection method removes the citation advantage of older papers relative to recently published ones, since papers are weighed against others in the same annual cohort.

Learn more about the full 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list and executive summary and the methodology.

About the Web of Science Group

Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, organizes the world’s research information to enable academia, corporations, publishers and governments to accelerate the pace of research. It is powered by Web of Science – the world’s largest publisher-neutral citation index and research intelligence platform. For more information, please visit

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