Three Los Alamos Scientists Named ‘Most Influential Scientific Minds’

LANL News:

  • Aiken, Korber and Perelson spotlighted in Thomson Reuters report

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists Allison Aiken, Bette Korber and Alan Perelson have been named to Thomson Reuters list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.”

“To have three of our premier scientists recognized on this list is a great honor and attests to the intellectual vitality that feeds the breadth of disciplines essential to our national security mission,” LANL Director Charles McMillan said. “The fact that one of those named is a former student and postdoctoral researcher makes me confident that our pipeline programs are actively inspiring future generations of scientific excellence.”

Allison Aiken

“I am excited to be on the list and I am very thankful to all of my mentors and colleagues,” said Aiken of the Laboratory’s Earth System Observations group.

Aiken was converted from a post-doctoral researcher to a research scientist last year at the Laboratory and is early in her career for such a distinguished recognition; her focus has been on ambient aerosol measurements. She received her undergraduate degrees from Furman University in 2002 in both chemistry and biology, where she was already combining laboratory and field work.

Originally from Winter Park Florida, she came to the Laboratory as a student in 2000, which inspired her to pursue her doctorate degree in atmospheric science. She received her doctoral degree in Chemistry in 2008 from the University of Colorado-Boulder for her work on aerosol mass spectrometry, which included both laboratory and field measurements. While earning her doctoral degree, she developed a new and largely applied elemental analysis procedure for aerosol mass spectrometry. Her specialties include the complex data analysis required from real-time direct online aerosol measurements.

Bette Korber

Korber also is part of the Laboratory’s Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group.

“I am proud to have made the list and it is particularly nice to be there along with my colleague Alan Perelson,” she said.

Korber is a Laboratory Fellow and also works at the New Mexico Consortium. Her work focuses on the human immune response to HIV infection and HIV evolution. She uses that knowledge as a foundation to enable HIV vaccine design. She also leads the HIV sequence and immunology database project at Los Alamos, a global service for HIV researchers.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from California State University-Long Beach, where she comes from, and her doctoral degree in Chemistry and Biology from the California Institute of Technology.

Alan Perelson

“It is an honor to have the value of my work recognized and to be included in this list,” said Perelson of the Laboratory’s Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group. “However, the real success in my area of modeling infectious disease only comes when the work has an impact on treating diseases such as HIV, influenza and hepatitis and ultimately in saving lives.”

Perelson is part of a multinational team whose work contributed to the understanding of the Hepatitis C virus and a possible cure. Originally from New York City, he is a Senior Fellow at the Laboratory, an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, an adjunct professor of bioinformatics at Boston University, an adjunct professor of biology at the University of New Mexico and an adjunct professor of biostatistics at the University of Rochester’s School of Medicine.

He earned his bachelor’s degrees in life sciences and in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his doctoral degree in biophysics from the University of California-Berkeley. He has been the group leader of the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group at the Laboratory. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of the National Institute of Health’s MERIT Award. Perelson has published more than 490 articles that have been cited over 45,000 times.

The Most Influential Scientific Minds List

Highlighting some of the standout researchers from the past decade, Thomson Reuters compiled 3,000 of the most influential authors in 21 fields of science or social science. These researchers earned this distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports officially designated by essential science indicators as highly cited papers.

The authors on the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds list rank among the top 1 percent most cited for their subject field between 2002 and 2012. The listings of highly cited researchers feature authors whose published work in their specialty areas has consistently been judged by peers to be of particular significance and utility.