Luís A. Nunes Amaral

co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems
Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Professor of Physics & Astronomy (by courtesy)
Professor of Medicine (by courtesy)

Chemical & Biological Engineering
2145 Sheridan Road (Room E136)
EvanstonIL 60208US
Phone: (847) 491-7850


Throughout the last 2 decades, several scholars observed that present day research into human genes rarely turns toward genes that had not already been extensively investigated in the past. Guided by hypotheses derived from studies of science and innovation, we present here a literature-wide data-driven meta-analysis to identify the specific scientific and organizational contexts that coincided with early-stage research into human genes throughout the past half century. We demonstrate that early-stage research into human genes differs in team size, citation impact, funding mechanisms, and publication outlet, but that generalized insights derived from studies of science and innovation only partially apply to early-stage research into human genes. Further, we demonstrate that, presently, genome biology accounts for most of the initial early-stage research, while subsequent early-stage research can engage other life sciences fields. We therefore anticipate that the specificity of our findings will enable scientists and policymakers to better promote early-stage research into human genes and increase overall innovation within the life sciences.