One thousand citations

02 June 2016, Cancer, Cell biology

Biomedical research published by Professor Mike Berridge and his colleague An Tan has achieved the equivalent of a gold medal in scientific circles – it has been cited, or referenced, by 1,000 researchers since its publication and is the most cited original research paper of all time from New Zealand in cell biology.

The 1993 paper clarified how a common assay used to measure cell proliferation and to screen for anticancer drugs worked on a cellular level. It challenged the global understanding of clinicians and pharmaceutical companies at that time.

Institute Director Professor Graham Le Gros says, “Every process or procedure used in modern medicine starts somewhere in a lab. The point of publishing data is to offer your findings to the international scientific community to replicate or to critique."

Over one thousand international peers have used this paper as a foundation to move their own work forward, and while a layperson might scratch their head and ask how understanding which part of a cell – in this case the part outside the mitochondria – is the key player in this medical test, it gives clinicians and patients confidence that this test for cancer is fully understood. 

"Mike is one of New Zealand’s most respected cellular biologists.  His work continues to push the boundaries of scientific knowledge, as evidenced by his breakthrough with An Tan on mitochondrial DNA trafficking to tumour cells last year.  We could not be more proud of this achievement; 1,000 citations for work carried out at the Malaghan Institute is another milestone for New Zealand science.”

The reference to the highly cited paper is: Characterization of the Cellular Reduction of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT): Subcellular Localization, Substrate Dependence, and Involvement of Mitochondrial Electron Transport in MTT Reduction. M.V. Berridge, A.S. Tan, Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Volume 303, Issue 2, June 1993, Pages 474-482. 

Read a New Zealand Herald article about this milestone.