The Web of Science (WoS) Highly Cited Researchers 2019 lists more than 6,000 of the most cited scientists from all over the world. It includes three researchers from St Petersburg University. The ranking is based on the number of highly cited publications in the WoS database for the decade 2008–2018.

The Web of Science is one of the most respected scientometric agencies in the world. The list annually includes about 0.1% of the world's scientists – the most cited ones in their fields. Of the 6,200 researchers represented in this year’s ranking, the most cited scientists are from the United States (2,737 scientists, or 44% of the total). China is now home to the second largest concentration of Highly Cited Researchers (636 scientists, or 10.2%), overtaking the United Kingdom (516 scientists, or 8.3%).

Ten scientists represent Russia in the WoS ranking, of which only four indicated Russian academic institutions as their primary affiliation. St Petersburg University, represented by three scientists, is first among Russian institutions.

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Raul Gainetdinov, the Director of the Institute of Translational Biomedicine, St Petersburg University

Raul Gainetdinov is the Director of the Institute of Translational Biomedicine at St Petersburg University and Scientific Director of the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies of St Petersburg. He has been included in the WoS ranking for several years. More than 300 of the professor’s publications are presented in the Web of Science, 12 of which are marked as the most highly cited in the field of pharmacology and toxicology for 2008–2018. All in all, there are 140 researchers in the list of pharmacologists. In this category, he is the only scientist from Russia.

To get on this respected list is a high reward for any scientist as well as for the institution where the scientist works. I am very glad that St Petersburg University is represented in this year’s list by three scientists. This will undoubtedly contribute to raising the status of the University in the world rankings.

Raul Gainetdinov, the Director of the Institute of Translational Biomedicine, St Petersburg University

The main direction of research activities in the Laboratory of Neuroscience and Molecular Pharmacology at St Petersburg University under the supervision of Raul Gainetdinov is the development of new drugs for psychiatric and neurological diseases of the brain. These include schizophrenia, depression, and Parkinson's Disease. Prior to working at St Petersburg University, Raul Gainetdinov held the position of a senior researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology. Also, he worked at Duke University in the USA.

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Gennady Leonov, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics. Photo by Vadim Zhernov

This is not the first year that Gennady Leonov, who passed away last year, has been included in the WoS ranking. He was an outstanding scientist, a long-term dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics of St Petersburg University, the founder of the Department of Applied Cybernetics, professor, and Doctor of Physics and Mathematics. Nikolay Kuznetsov has also been included in this list again. He is the current head of the Department of Applied Cybernetics, professor, and Doctor of Physics and Mathematics. The Web of Science system contains more than 172 works by Gennady Leonov and 173 by Nikolay Kuznetsov, of which 14 publications by Gennady Leonov and 15 publications by Nikolay Kuznetsov are highly cited in the field of interdisciplinary research.

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Doctor of Physics and Mathematics Nikolay Kuznetsov

‘In many ways, the studies of Gennady Leonov’s research school are highly popular in the academic community as their projects are at the forefront of research and have an integrated nature. During previous years, his research school has achieved success both in practice and in the qualitative theory of dynamical systems,’ said Nikolay Kuznetsov. 

One of the main areas of study of Gennady Leonov’s research school is associated with the development of the theory of latent oscillations and the analysis of the stability of control systems. In particular, as part of these studies, they have carried out: an analysis of phase-locked loop systems in distributed computer architectures and GPS / GLONASS satellite navigation; and an analysis of the onset of oscillations in a closed dynamic model of the Sayano-Shushenskaya Dam. They have also considered the Keldysh problem of flutter suppression and developed rigorous approaches to its non-linear analysis. Moreover, latent vibrations in dynamic models of drilling rigs have been identified.

The profile of scientists who have been recognised by WoS Highly Cited Researchers also influences the profile of the educational institution where they work. This indicator is taken into account in many world university rankings, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). It is considered one of the most respected global university rankings.