Paper Co-Authored By Pharmacy Professor Schmittgen Is Among The Most Cited Of All Time

Professor Schmittgen

The research publication Nature recently listed the top 100 most cited science papers of all time, and listed as number 21 is the College of Pharmacy’s own Thomas Schmittgen. The 2001 article, which was co-authored with Ken Livak, is entitled, “Analysis of Relative Gene Expression Data using Real-Time Quantitative PCR and the 2(T)(Delta Delta C) Method.” 

The paper was published in the journal Methods and has been cited 28,870 times, according to Thomson Reuters. While a faculty member at Washington State University (WSU), Schmittgen used Livak’s improved polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method of data analysis for his cancer research.

PCR is a method of duplicating samples of genetic material. It has been directly responsible for astounding leaps in the study and treatment of cancer and other medical conditions as well as the dependable use of DNA testing in criminal cases.

While Schmittgen was responsible for writing the majority of the paper and never actually met Livak prior to this collaboration, Schmittgen called him to propose putting his method into an academic format that researchers could freely and appropriately cite in their work.

“What began as a simple gesture of goodwill developed into such a phenomenal success that I would have never predicted at the time,” said Schmittgen.

About a year after the paper was published, Schmittgen left WSU to come to the College of Pharmacy so he could be connected to a comprehensive medical system that included a cancer center.

“Dr. Livak and I are truly honored by this recognition. To be listed among the most cited scientific papers of all time is quite humbling,” said Schmittgen.  

Learn more about the top 100 most cited science papers at the following link: