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NEI Grantee Abecasis among Hottest Scientific Researchers

NEI grantee Gonçalo Abecasis, D.Phil., appears on the 2012 Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch list of Hottest Scientific Researchers and Research. The annual list comprises "hot papers" of science—the most-cited publications of the year—as well as authors who contributed to multiple hot papers. Abecasis had 12 hot papers in 2012, putting him in the company of "the thought leaders of today...individuals whose research is blazing new frontiers and shaping tomorrow's world," according to the report.

Abecasis is the Felix Moore Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He was co-author on the 2012 hottest paper of the year, published October 2010, in Nature, about preliminary results from the 1000 Genomes Project. Completed in 2012, the project was an international effort to sequence at least 1000 genomes of people from various ethnicities around the world to provide researchers with a tool for exploring the effects of human genetic variation on health and susceptibility to disease. The National Eye Institute (NEI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, funds Abecasis to study the genetics of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness among older Americans. Abecasis has been instrumental in the NEI-supported international AMD Gene Consortium, which in April 2013 in Nature Genetics reported seven new genetic risk factors for AMD.

Abecasis has developed analytical methods and statistical tools to map complex genetic traits. Such tools and methods have become increasingly important as the time and cost of DNA sequencing continues to decline, resulting in vast amounts of genomic data available for analysis.

Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch is an online resource for trends in science. To view the report, visit their website at

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Abecasis GR, Altshuler D, Auton A, et al. A map of human genome variation from population-scale sequencing. Nature. Oct 28 2010;467(7319):1061-1073.

Abecasis GR, Auton A, Brooks LD, et al. An integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes. Nature. Nov 1 2012;491(7422):56-65.

Fritsche LG, Chen W, Schu M, et al. Seven new loci associated with age-related macular degeneration. Nat Genet. Apr 2013;45(4):433-439, 439e431-432.

Last Updated: June 2013

Department of Health and Human Services NIH, the National Institutes of Health