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Four University professors on the Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list

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Publié le vendredi 18 novembre 2022

Professors Stéphane Bordas, Michael Heneka, Alexandre Tkatchenko, and Paul Wilmes have been ranked among the “Highly Cited Researchers” 2022 list by Clarivate.

The list identifies global research scientists and social scientists “who have demonstrated exceptional influence – reflected through their publication of multiple papers frequently cited by their peers during the last decade”. These highly cited papers rank in the top 1% by citations for a field or fields and publication year. Of the world’s population of scientists and social scientists, Highly Cited Researchers are 1 in 1,000.

Prof. Stéphane Bordas

Stéphane Bordas is a multi-disciplinary computational and data science researcher, educator, mentor and coach. He was trained as an engineer and applied mathematician who has been teaching and researching in computational sciences in various capacities since 1999. He has been in the top 1% most cited in his field, worldwide since 2015 (ISI Clarivate). Stéphane Bordas leads the Legato Team (legato-team.eu) at the Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM), a multi-disciplinary team of about 30 researchers of a dozen nationalities. He is focusing on leveraging the rigour of mathematics to bring intuition into the behaviour of complex systems. In particular, he has pioneered new approaches to guarantee the quality of surgical simulation devices. His philosophy is to create methodologies which translate across discipline boundaries. For example, the methodological backbone of his PhD thesis supports applications in fracture mechanics, nanoscale heterogeneities, biofilm growth, cancer growth, astrocytic metabolism and many others. Recently, his team has become involved, through the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Luxembourg, in the nascent field of Computational Archaeology.

Currently, one of the main focus points of his team is to bring machine learning tools to mathematical models of physical phenomena. In particular, his group develops adaptive data assimilation, model selection and discretisation optimisation schemes for the deformation of soft matter under large deformation with applications to surgical simulations and robotics. His team has been applying such ideas to programmable matter, multi-scale material modelling, wind energy harvesting, chemical engineering process optimisation, among others. Stéphane Bordas has taught over 5,000 students directly and given short courses and research seminars reaching thousands of attendees. He has extensive experience in one-to-one tutoring, mentoring and coaching across various disciplines. He has directly worked with over four hundred collaborators and over fifty different companies, worldwide, as an R&D consultant. Stéphane Bordas and his students and collaborators have received multiple international prizes for their research and mentorship. He has raised over 28 million euros in research funding from the private and public sector alike. He is Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, and recipient of the 2022 Eugenio Beltrami Senior Scientist Prize. He is Editor in Chief of Advances in Applied Mechanics, Executive Editor of Data-Centric Engineering, and Subject Editor for Applied Mathematical Modelling.

Prof. Michael Heneka

Prof. Michael Heneka is a board-certified neurologist and clinician-scientist with extensive experience in studying neurodegenerative diseases at experimental, preclinical and clinical levels. He studied medicine in Tübingen, Lausanne and London and joined the Department of Neurology at the University of Bonn in 1999. After his clinical board examination and habilitation, he took the chair as professor for Molecular Neurology at the University of Münster in 2004. In 2008, he was appointed professor for Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Bonn, heading the DFG Clinical Research Unit 177. Prof. Heneka established a neurodegenerative outpatient unit at the University of Münster and thereafter at the University of Bonn. The latter has been the basis for the foundation of the Dept. of Neurodegenerative Disease and Geriatric Psychiatry, which he headed from 2016 to 2021. Since January 2022, he is the director of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg. At the LCSB, Prof. Heneka is also heading the Neuroinflammation group, which is involved in fundamental and translational research with a focus on neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation.

Dementia has been identified by the World Health Organization as a major and global health issue, with an expected increase from currently 55 million dementia cases to about 150 million in 2050. Approximately two-thirds of all dementia patients are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to memory dysfunction, behavioural disturbances and loss of all higher cognitive functions. Prof. Michael Heneka’s research group explores the underlying molecular mechanisms of this disease and in particular the role of the immune system and its dysregulation, using novel preclinical mouse models and state-of-the-art techniques like two-photon imaging, transcriptome analysis and induced pluripotent stem cells. The team also studies the cellular interactions between microglia, neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes through tunnelling nanotubes. From a translational perspective, the goal is to develop new biomarkers and insights into medical interventions around various aspects of neuroinflammation involved in neurodegenerative and cerebrovascular diseases.

Prof. Alexandre Tkatchenko

Alexandre Tkatchenko is a Professor of Theoretical Chemical Physics at the University of Luxembourg and also Head of the Department of Physics and Materials Science (DPhyMS) at the Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM). He obtained his Bachelor degree in Computer Science and a PhD in Physical Chemistry at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City. Between 2008 and 2010, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin. Between 2011 and 2016, he led an independent research group at the same institute. Since 2007, he has given more than 280 invited talks, seminars and colloquia worldwide, and currently serves on the editorial boards of two scientific society journals: Physical Review Letters (APS) and Science Advances (AAAS). He has received a number of awards, including elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the van der Waals Prize from NCNI-2021, the 2020 Dirac Medal from WATOC, the Gerhard Ertl Young Investigator Award of the German Physical Society, and four flagship grants from the European Research Council: a Starting Grant in 2011, a Consolidator Grant in 2017, a Proof-of-Concept Grant in 2020, and an Advanced Grant in 2022.

The Theoretical Chemical Physics group at the University of Luxembourg develops novel methodologies and undertakes ambitious computational projects to address fundamental and challenging aspects of systems at the intersection of physics, chemistry, and biology. The key goal of this work is to bring quantum-mechanical level of accuracy and insight to large and complex systems. This can only be achieved by unifying physical theories at varying spatial and temporal scales, which is achieved by combining first-principles quantum methods, coarse-grained statistical approaches, as well as developing novel mathematical and computational techniques, some of them based on machine learning and intelligent data analysis. The group includes physicists, chemists, mathematicians, and computer scientists, and collaborates with many leading researchers across the world. The publication list highlights the breadth of approaches developed and the application of these techniques for achieving fundamental understanding of molecules and materials.

Prof. Paul Wilmes

Paul Wilmes is Full Professor of Systems Ecology and holds appointments at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and in the Department of Life Sciences and Medicine within the Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine of the University of Luxembourg. He heads the Systems Ecology Research group at the LCSB.

As a British Chevening Scholar, Paul Wilmes earned his PhD from the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich in 2006. For part of his doctoral research, he spent time as a German Academic Exchange Service Visiting Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen. He subsequently carried out postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley from where he returned in 2009 to his native Luxembourg through the ATTRACT fellowship scheme of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). He initially established his research group at the Centre de Recherche Public – Gabriel Lippmann (now Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology) but later joined the LCSB. Prof. Wilmes is an elected full member of the Institut Grand-Ducal, Section des Sciences naturelles, physiques et mathématiques, and of the Académie Lorraine des Sciences. He has authored more than 130 peer-reviewed publications and has won several prizes for his scientific work. He is a frequently invited speaker at international scientific symposia and academic institutions.

His main research focus is on using systems biology approaches to identify key functionalities of microbial communities including human-associated microbiota. His group has pioneered the development of appropriate methodologies for performing systematic molecular measurements of microbial consortia over space and time. This allows, for example, to define lifestyle strategies of distinct populations and link these to genetic and functional traits. The same approaches are allowing the study of microbiome-host molecular interactions. In this context, his group has developed a microfluidics-based in vitro model of the human-microbial gastrointestinal interface called HuMiX. In 2019, Prof. Wilmes received a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant for his project “ExpoBiome” which explores the interactions between microbial molecules and the human immune system in patients with Parkinson's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

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