UQ Alzheimer’s research among the world’s most talked about in 2015
Breakthrough Alzheimer’s research from the University of Queensland has been named among the world’s most talked-about research of 2015.
The Altmetric 2015 Top 100 tracks what people are saying about academic research online, on social media, in mainstream media and includes three academic articles featuring UQ authors among the top 50.
UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said it was little wonder that UQ research using ultrasound technology to treat Alzheimer’s disease and restore memory was among the most talked about, at number 37.
“Globally, 46.8 million people are living with dementia, a debilitating symptom of Alzheimer’s, so it’s not surprising that the research sparked such international interest,” Professor Høj said.
“This work opens up new hope and a new approach for treatment of the disease in future, and carries with it the potential to change many lives for the better.”
The study—authored by Gerhard Leinenga and Jürgen Götz from UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute—was initially published in Science Translational Medicine in March 2015 and attracted 39 news stories, 17 blog posts, 954 tweets, 97 Facebook posts and Wikipedia references, among other hits.
Also among the Top 100 were two studies based on the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 published in The Lancet in June (ranked 28) and August (ranked 36) which featured UQ researchers among a number of collaborating authors.
Professor Høj said the importance of not only sharing new research findings, but also generating global discussion around them, cannot be overestimated.
“The work that goes on inside a university is conducted with a greater goal in sight: to benefit society on a wider scale. It’s integral to ensure the findings make their way onto the global stage, where they can be of greatest benefit to the greatest number of people.
“If we’re not talking about it, we’re not aware of its implications, we’re not able to build on it, generate funding for it, and we can’t bring game-changing innovations to market nearly as fast.
“This is why it is imperative we continue to talk with the academic, scientific and wider community that will benefit from the research we are doing.”
This year’s Altmetric Top 100 features papers published in 34 different journals, with contributions from nearly 2,000 authors.
The most popular paper of the year detailed the discovery of a new antibiotic that inhibits the growth of a range of drug-resistant bacteria, offering hope for efforts aimed at combating antibiotic resistance.
The next most popular topics included a major study confirming there is no harmful association between the MMR vaccine and autism spectrum disorder, and environmental issues.