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Northwestern HIV/AIDS Research Has Very High Impact

Northwestern is one of the top 10 institutions with the highest impact in HIV/AIDS research.

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September 9, 2008 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University is one of the top 10 institutions with the highest impact in HIV/AIDS research, according to a report published in a special issue of the journal Science. The University ranks second, after the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The issue, titled "HIV/AIDS -- Follow the Money," examined how billions of HIV/AIDS research dollars have been distributed over the past decade and what the funding has accomplished.

Science highlighted Northwestern as an institution that produces high-impact research while receiving less National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding than some others: "And with institutions, money does correlate with impact…but only to a point: Northwestern University has the second-highest citation impact and does not even rank in the top 20 for NIH funding. Money speaks volumes, but it often doesn't have the final word."

An analysis of publications assessed the impact of more than 120,000 HIV/AIDS-related papers published between 1998 and 2007 with impact measured by average number of citations per paper.

The average number of citations per Northwestern paper was 30.5, while the average paper was cited nearly 12 times. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases led with 35.7, and Harvard University, which ranked third, averaged 26.2.

The most-cited paper was authored by Frank J. Palella, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, and his colleagues. In the New England Journal of Medicine March 26, 1998, they reported that potent anti-HIV cocktails led to a steep decline in disease and death in the United States.
Topics: Research