The American University in Cairo (AUC) has been ranked the top affiliation among the academic institutes in Egypt in the lately released Nature Index 2015. The Nature Index is “a database of author affiliation information collated from research articles published in an independently selected group of 68 high-quality science journals. The database is compiled by Nature Publishing Group (NPG) in collaboration with Digital Science.” Four papers published by three AUC professors, Ahmed Moustafa, associate professor of bioinformatics and genomics, Nageh Allam, associate professor of physics and Tamer Shoeib, associate professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry, were chosen in Nature Index 2015, which tracks the affiliations of high-quality scientific articles and benchmarks research performance.“This is a remarkable recognition for the quality and significance of scientific research conducted by AUC faculty members in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences,” said Moustafa. He explained that the recently established ranking system for academic affiliations, Nature Index, is the first metric that tracks the quality of the publication in ranking the academic institutions. “Thus, rather than other simple ranking system based on the count of publications contributed by faculty members of academic institutes, Nature Index accounts for the “quality and significance” of the published “primary” research articles by tracking the publications in 68 selected science journals,” he said.
Nature Index provides further details on the articles contributing to the ranking of each institute. “The research articles from AUC in the area of life sciences were co-authored by me with international collaborators. The two articles were published in high-impact, prominent science journals,” said Moustafa. The first paper reported the discovery of a novel gene in the genomes of marine phytoplankton that facilitates the uptake of iron in iron-depleted regions in the oceans and it was published in Current Biology. The second paper proposed a model for metabolic interaction between marine phytoplankton and associated bacterial communities. This work was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). “Nature Index evidently conveys that it is the quality, not the quantity, of the research that leads to the advancement of science. I am exceedingly proud that AUC is ranked the top in Egypt and particularly happy that my research and published articles receive this remarkable and international recognition,” said Moustafa.
Allam’s paper on “TiO2 nanotubes with ultrathin walls for enhanced water splitting” and Shoeib’s paper on “Mass Spectrometric and Computational Investigation of the Protonated Carnosine-Carboplatin Complex Fragmentation” were both chosen in the chemistry field in Nature Index 2015. Shoeib’s research aims to deepen the understanding of many of the most widely used cancer drugs worldwide with the aim of allowing for a personalized chemotherapy treatment of cancer patients. This would ultimately lead to better patient advice through more predictable outcomes, lower side effects, improved prognosis and reduced health care costs. “AUC contributes to high quality science and it is great to be recognized in such a prestigious publication,” Shoeib said.
Amal Esawi, professor of mechanical engineering at AUC’s School of Sciences and Engineering (SSE), associate dean for graduate studies and research and director of PhD program, said that producing quality papers that are published in top-tier journals is a practice strongly encouraged in SSE even if it takes double or triple the effort and time to get the paper published. “The impact of the research is guaranteed to be much higher and AUC's name will appear with world class universities which shape the science around us,” said Esawi, “my heartfelt congratulations to my colleagues for their outstanding work and great achievement.”