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Five faculty members make list of world’s top female scientists


Five UC Davis Health faculty members have been recognized among the top female scientists around the globe according to Research.com’s 2022 ranking of the Top 1000 Female Scientists in the World.

The list, compiled by the online research portal for scientists, was created to help provide more opportunities, visibility and equal chances for women in science.

The recognized faculty members work in a variety of scientific fields. Four of the five are faculty members at the UC Davis MIND Institute:

  • Jacqueline N. Crawley, distinguished professor emeritus in the MIND Institute and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is an internationally recognized leader in behavioral neuroscience, mouse behavioral genetics, and translational neuropharmacology. Her research program focuses on rodent models of neuropsychiatric disorders, with a current emphasis on understanding the genetic causes of autism spectrum disorders and discovering effective medical therapeutics for the core diagnostic symptoms of autism.
  • Randi Jenssen Hagerman, distinguished professor of in the Department of Pediatrics, is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician and medical director of the MIND Institute. Her areas of research include targeted treatment trials in Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), Rett Syndrome, Fragile X-associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS), and autism. She is credited with the discovery of FXTAS in the early 2000s.
  • Sally J. Rogers, distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the MIND Institute, is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on young autistic children's developmental challenges, particularly involving cognition, language and communication, social interactions and behaviors. She is best known for her research in understanding early developmental trajectories of young children with autism and in developing and testing intervention strategies focused on the use of the Early Start Denver Model, a well-studied, naturalistic developmental-behavioral intervention for very young autistic children in use around the world.
  • Irva Hertz-Picciotto, chief of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health and a MIND Institute faculty member, has led a pioneering program of research on the environmental factors that influence the risk or severity of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She has published widely on prenatal exposures to air pollutants, pesticides, maternal metabolic conditions, infections, nutrition and endocrine disrupting chemicals.
  • Nancy E. Lane, distinguished professor of medicine and rheumatology, is an internationally recognized scientist in the fields of both osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Her translational research team has been instrumental in defining bone fragility including the effects of glucocorticoids on vulnerable cell populations including osteocytes and in aging. In addition, Lane is an expert in the epidemiology, the biology and treatment of osteoarthritis and has performed many seminal trials of novel agents to treat this highly prevalent disease. 

“Research is essential to fostering the curiosity and innovation that lead to health care breakthroughs,” said Kim E. Barrett, vice dean for research. “And studies show that diversity drives better research, so it is vital that we continue efforts towards diversifying our faculty across all dimensions, including gender. Each of these women is leading the way with innovative research and it is an honor to celebrate their achievements.”

For the inaugural 2022 edition of what will be an annual ranking, more than 166,880 scientist profiles across 24 research disciplines on Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Graph were examined. Several indicators and metrics were reviewed in weighing each scientist’s inclusion.

“We are painfully aware that academic research is still a predominantly male profession, and we believe that female scientists deserve an equal chance to be represented and praised for their achievements,” said Imed Bouchrika, head of content at Research.com. “We hope this list inspires female scholars, women considering an academic career, as well as decision-makers worldwide with the example of successful women in the scientific community.”

Research.com adheres to high standards and transparent procedures based on well-established metrics to produce a wide range of rankings for the research community in a variety of disciplines. The full methodology of the company’s rankings can be found here.