Faculty of Pharmacy at the top of international rankings
4 May 2022
Rankings of universities and individual researchers are gaining increasingly more attention. A high position can attract new students, leading researchers and important funding - and currently the most prestigious rankings offer very inspiring reading for the Faculty of Pharmacy.
Barely 20 years after the publication of the first Academic Ranking of World Universities – often referred to as the Shanghai Ranking – global university rankings are now part of everyday academic life. Although the lists can stir debate, for example to measure quality with far too simplified methods, both media and universities report on current standings. And with the results reaching and affecting everyone from policymakers to potential students, how well does the Faculty of Pharmacy and its researchers perform on the most prestigious rankings?
The Shanghai Ranking, primarily evaluating research-related data, places Uppsala University at number 78 in the world – and in the category Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences as high as 25, our university's single best ranking. In the QS World Ranking, emphasising higher education and academic reputation, Uppsala University is at number 124, also here with top position (#34) in Pharmacy & Pharmacology. High reliability is also attributed to the U.S. News Best Global Universities, in which Uppsala University currently ranks 113th, with its second highest position in Pharmacology and Toxicology (#40).
“The Faculty of Pharmacy is experiencing a very positive development. We are achieving great success in research and calls, we recently inaugurated seven new professors and are currently consolidating the organisation surrounding our first cycle educations. This summer we will greet 200 European PhD students to ULLA 22 and in autumn we will launch Sweden's first Master's Programme in Biopharmaceuticals. That our determined work and successful collaboration with Uppsala University's Faculty of Medicine is reflected in international rankings of course provides important inspiration for the future,” says Mathias Hallberg, Dean at the Faculty of Pharmacy.
Looking at individual researchers, Research.com annually lists the world’s foremost in a number of disciplines based on productivity and citation impact, a so-called H-index. In the 2022 listings, Robert Fredriksson, Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, ranks 3425 with 11,854 citations in Genetics and Molecular Biology. Another professor who excels is Per Artursson, Department of Pharmacy, at number 1252 with 27,960 citations in Biology and Biochemistry. Artursson also has prominent positions in Stanford University’s current rankings of Last year's performance and Career achievements respectively, the latter a category where Per Artursson reaches place 5287. On the same list we find Hans Lennernäs (#11,926) and Fred Nyberg (#52,815), both Professors at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, and Anders Hallberg (#64,334), Professor at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.
“I read it as an acknowledgement that I still deliver the goods, but above all I feel grateful for the academic freedom to follow my curiosity. Our group has had the privilege to try our fortunes along many unknown tracks, and if we are to look in the rearview mirror, our main achievement is probably that we have made an impact in every new direction. Still, most import is not what we do, but why. What really matters is the continuous development of pharmacy, and to take the step into the future, we senior researchers must be prepared to let forward the next generation,” states Per Artursson.
A search in Scopus, the world's largest reference database for scientifically reviewed literature, indicates significant generosity. Several of the Faculty of Pharmacy's researchers in the midst of their careers have already achieved an H-index above 40, an achievement characterising “outstanding scientists, likely to be found only at the top universities or major research laboratories". This category includes Christel Bergström (H-index 40), Professor at the Department of Pharmacy, and Ulf Göransson (#41) and Ola Söderberg (#41), Professors at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences. Among the slightly younger ranks, a number of fast-climbing researchers stand out, among them Sara Mangsbo (#23) and Alexandra Teleki (#25). both at the Department of Pharmacy.
“We have received 2 million euros from the European Research Council in order to develop a new method to diagnose and treat inflammatory bowel disease in children and hopefully also adults. We work with a nanoparticle that localises the inflammation, determines its activity, transports drugs and releases the right dose locally in the gastrointestinal tract. Our project group unites leading environments at Uppsala University's Faculties of Pharmacy and Medicine, SciLifeLab, Uppsala University Children's Hospital and the University of Florida. Everything looks very promising, so my hope is that our research will continue to be of high scientific and clinical relevance,” says Alexandra Teleki.
Facts University rankings
- Attempt to compare and rank a number of universities in lists, often from a quality perspective.
- Data can come from different types of sources: official statistics, bibliometrics, online analyses, etc.
- From these sources, different data are retrieved and different aspects (indicators) are weighed against each other and combined into a final number that can be presented as a grade or measure of quality at a specific university.
- In recent years, Uppsala University has, with few exceptions, ranked among the 100 best universities in the world in the three largest international rankings, ARWU, QS and THE.