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International recognition for academic output

Free Radicals study is among most cited papers

Issued on 22 July 2009

A University of Leicester medical scientist is being lauded for his research output.

Dr Marcus S Cooke, of the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine and the Department of Genetics has recently been recognized by Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators for producing one of the most cited academic papers in his discipline.

His achievement is highlighted on the award-winning website sciencewatch.com. Sciencewatch is a resource that allows researchers to carry out ongoing, quantitative analyses of research performance and track trends in science.

Dr Cooke’s paper is in the area of ‘Oxidative DNA damage’. It received over 300 references which led to the paper being listed as one the Emerging Front papers for August 2009.

Dr Cooke describes the review as summarising the effects of damage to DNA - the cell’s blueprint, and how this damage might be involved in diseases, such as cancer.

He added: “It describes how highly reactive chemicals known as free radicals, which can be generated by radiation, sunlight and smoking, for example, are constantly damaging DNA. Antioxidants help to prevent this damage, and the DNA can also be repaired. However, if the antioxidants and repair processes are overwhelmed, levels of damage increase and this lead to an increased risk of disease.”

Dr Cooke gained interest in Oxidative DNA damage whilst studying on the MSc in Molecular Pathology and Toxicology at Leicester 1993. He said: “There was a lecture on Free Radicals -this grabbed my interest, and I’ve pursued this field ever since.”

Dr Cooke was interviewed by ScienceWatch about the success of his paper: you can read the interview online by clicking here .

Ends

Notes: The reference for Dr Cooke's article is:

Cooke, MS., Evans, MD., Dizdaroglu, M. and Lunec, J. (2003) 'Oxidative DNA damage: mechanisms, mutation and disease' FASEB J., 17, 1195-1214.

Release by Emma Cattermoul

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