A ceremony was held at Okayama University on April 27 to present Professor Jian Feng Ma and Associate Professor Yamaji Naoki—who are both affiliated with the Institute of Plant Science and Resources (IPSR) —with the Highly Cited Researchers 2015 award, which is given out annually by Thomson Reuters to researchers in various science fields whose work has attracted particularly close attention.
Recipients of the Highly Cited Researchers award are selected by analyzing the quotations found within the literature of various science-related fields to determine work that has had a strong influence. This year’s award was given to a total of 3,126 scientists around the world, including 80 from Japan. This was the first time that individuals from our university received the honor—and the fact that two professors were selected is nothing short of groundbreaking.
Account manager Sayaka Miwa participated in the ceremony as a representative from Thomson Reuters, while the participants from Okayama University were President Kiyoshi Morita, Executive Director and Vice President for Research Shinichi Yamamoto, and several University Research Administrators(URAs). “The fact that two talented researchers from our institution were both selected for the Highly Cited Researchers award makes me extremely proud, and I am looking forward to the continuing work of both Professor Ma and Associate Professor Yamaji,” commented President Morita by way of encouragement.
Both professors have worked on identification of mineral transporters and clarifying plants’ resistance mechanism toward mineral stress, which is a type of plant stressor that includes nutritional deficiency and excess toxic mineral elements. The professors’ research into the ways that plants acquire the nutrients necessary for growth and direct it toward their organs—as well as both scholars’ comprehensive outlining of the mechanism through which plants divest poisonous metals of their toxicity, all the way from the level of the field to that of the gene—have been nothing short of dynamic. The selection of the professors for this award serves to reflect, then, how their research contributions are on the global cutting edge.
Professor Jian Feng Ma
Head of the Plant Stress Physiology Group, Institute of Plant Science and Resources
maj (a) rib.okayama-u.ac.jp
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From left: President Morita, Professor Ma, Associate Professor Yamaji and Executive Director Yamamoto
Professor Ma (left) and Associate Professor Yamaji receive their awards during the ceremony