The top 10 institutions in biomedical sciences in 2018

The US has a handy lead in the biomedical sciences, but China is hot on its heels.

17 May 2019

Bec Crew

William Taufic/Getty Images

Seven of the top 10 institutions in the biomedical sciences hail from the US, but the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), at number three, is hot on the heels of the National Institutes of Health as one of the fastest risers.

Harvard took the top spot with almost twice the FC count of the NIH, which sits at number two, ahead of CAS and Stanford University in rank four.

The top 10 institutions in the Nature Index for biomedical sciences are the largest contributors to papers published by a subset of 55 journals among the 82 journals in the Nature Index from January 2015 to December 2018.

While approximately 72% of Harvard’s high-quality research output in journals tracked by the Nature Index is in the biomedical sciences, the comparable figure for the NIH is 91%.

Biomedical sciences includes fields such as biochemistry and cell biology, genetics, microbiology, and biomedical engineering.

By contrast, an estimated 17.5% of CAS's research output in the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, life sciences, and Earth and environmental sciences) was in the biomedical sciences. This was the lowest proportion for any institution in the top 10, indicating its capacity for high-quality output even without a specialised institutional focus.

The list of the top 200 institutions in the biomedical sciences was released with the latest edition of the Nature Index supplement, which explores the discoveries and innovations that may lead to further improvements in human health and lifespan.

Nature Index Biomedical Sciences supplement


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