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Intramural Scientist Named "Highly Cited Researcher"

By Eddy Ball
December 2006

Joyce Goldstein
Highly Cited Author Joyce Goldstein. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

As a measure of the quality of research, the number of times an author's work is cited is arguably more important than the number papers and books he or she may have published. In recognition of the quality of one NIEHS scientist's work, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) has named Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry Pharmacologist Joyce Goldstein, Ph.D., a "Highly Cited Researcher" in the category of pharmacology for her seminal work on polymorphisms in the human CYP2C enzymes.

Goldstein has been publishing in peer-reviewed publications since 1967, when she was completing her doctorate in pharmacology and biochemistry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. ISI computed the frequency that other scientists cited her work on the basis of her publications in peer-reviewed journals, using a rolling 20-year period time period beginning in 1981 as the base for its calculations. ISI did not include citations of the book chapters she has also authored or consider her other professional achievements.

When Goldstein first learned of her selection, she did not completely appreciate its significance. However, as she began to explore the ISI website, she started to realize that she was being recognized as one of the 250 most influential researchers in her field. "It's a nice atta-boy for me," she said. "And it's been interesting to see who else is highly cited and how many highly cited researchers other institutions have."

After her post-doctoral training at Emory University, Goldstein took a job the Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta. Two years later, her branch was transferred to the Environmental Protection Agency, where she worked for the next seven years. Goldstein joined NIEHS in 1977 as a group leader in the Systemic Toxicology Branch. In 1989, she joined the Human Metabolism section of the Laboratory of Biochemical Risk Analysis. For the past ten years, she has served as section head of Human Metabolism, Laboratory of Pharmacology and Chemistry.

"I've come a long way," Goldstein said of her career and the pride her parents felt about her accomplishments while they were living. "My father had an eighth-grade education, but my mother was set on her children going to college," she said. "I believe my father also saw the limitations that the lack of higher education imposed. He worked hard and saved to provide. I owe both of them a lot for the sacrifices they made to see that I had opportunities they didn't have for an education."

With the award, Goldstein joins the handful of NIEHS scientists named as ISI "Highly Cited Researcher." The group includes Scientific Director Lutz Birnbaumer, Ph.D., Chief, Laboratory of Structural Biology, Thomas Kunkel, Ph.D., and Laboratory of Signal Transduction Pharmacologist James Putney, Ph.D., all of whom won in the field of biology and biochemistry.

The ISI Highly Cited Researchers program began in 2000. It is the most recent in a series of projects at Thomson Scientific to recognize the contributions of the most influential authors in 21 scientific fields, half of them related in some way to the types of research conducted by NIEHS scientists and grantees. The awards are based solely upon the objective criterion of number of citations.

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