The rankings were determined by the cumulative number of citations each scientist had received
William S Harris, founder of OmegaQuant, and President of the Fatty Acid Research Institute, has been ranked 2164 for his overall scientific impact in a list of nearly 160,000 scientists compiled by Stanford University researchers. Impact was essentially defined as the number of times other researchers referred back in their papers, or “cited,” the published work of a given scientist.
For this study, the researchers analysed data from the mid-1990s through 2019, covering millions of scientists worldwide in all fields of science. The study created a public database of standardised citation metrics for the top scientists in the world classified into 22 scientific fields and 176 sub-fields. The findings were published in PLOS Biology.
Dr Harris has been researching fatty acids for more than 40 years and has published more than 300 papers on the nutrients. Since co-inventing the Omega-3 Index in 2004, it has been used by him and others in research papers. “We continue to build the evidence base for the importance of the Omega-3 Index in human health by working with some of the most prestigious research institutions in the world. To date, we’ve worked with more than 100 of them including Harvard, Tufts, Columbia, Stanford, Oxford, and even the US Army,” Dr Harris said.
In late 2020, Dr Harris founded FARI, a non-profit research and education foundation to focus on publishing research studies on the multiple relationships between fatty acid levels and human (and animal) health outcomes. “These studies will improve our ability to predict risk for disease, and more importantly, suggest ways to reduce risk by changing our diets and/or supplementation regimens,” he said.
On the announcement, Dr Harris said: “I was extremely lucky! At the very beginning of my career in the late 1970s, my mentor (Dr Bill Connor, 8441 on the list) assigned me to study the effects of salmon oil on serum cholesterol levels. That was my introduction to omega-3 fatty acids, and largely because of the truly pioneering work of Jorn Dyerberg (35,635 on the list) in Greenland Inuits, the omega-3 field began to explode in the 1980s. I have simply ridden this horse since then and don’t plan to get off until they drag me off the saddle!
“This achievement is also a testimony to how important the identification of a biomarker like the Omega-3 Index was (and continues to be) as a stimulus to expanding research and publications in this field.”