Two Professors from The University of Western Australia are among the world's most cited plant scientists, according to the publisher of the two leading international journals for the advancement of plant science.
The publisher of Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell has identified its most highly cited and influential authors, among them Winthrop Professor Harvey Millar and Winthrop Professor Jim Whelan, who are Chief Investigators at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology.
The American Society of Plant Biologists analysed publications between 2004 and 2008 and found that 11 authors from Australasia are among the most highly cited plant scientists in the world.
Professor Millar's study of plant stress responses has contributed knowledge and new techniques to the field of proteomics, especially in the study of plant mitochondria and subcellular localisation of proteins in plants.
"Our work provides tools for people to determine where proteins reside in plant cells, which helps explain how cells function," Professor Millar said. "As a result, these findings are often cited by scientists as evidence to back decisions made in their research plans."
Professor Whelan's research focuses on RNA (ribonucleic acid copies of genes) and the characterisation of protein import in the context of organelle biogenesis. He has found that the synthesis of new proteins requires a complex set of control points, starting from the activation of genes and synthesis of messenger RNA's, and ending in the transport of proteins to their final destinations.
‘We study these processes using functional genomics tools in plants and this work is often cited as it provides a foundation for researchers working in diverse fields within plant biology," Professor Whelan said.
Professors Whelan and Millar are previous recipients of the prestigious Peter Goldacre Medal for plant sciences in Australia (1998 and 2003). They are also winners of many highly competitive fellowships and Professor Millar has been awarded both the WA Premier's Prize for Early Career Achievement in Science (2003) and the Science Minister's Prize for Australian Life Scientist of the Year (2008).
Plant Energy Biology at the University of Western Australia conducts research to discover and characterise the molecular components and control mechanisms that drive energy metabolism in plant cells. Its work will underpin future advances in crop performance in the face of climate change.
Winthrop Professor Harvey Millar (ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology UWA) (+61 8) 6488 7245
Alice Trend (Science Communications Officer) (+61 8) 6488 4481
Simone Hewett (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 7977 / (+61 4) 20 790 097
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