Lian, Stein, and Cushman Ranked Among Top Scientists in U.S.

December 2, 2022 by Jennifer Nachbur

A new online ranking of the top female scientists in the United States conducted by includes three members of the University of Vermont faculty. Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., professor of medicine, was ranked 124th nationally and 193rd in the world. Jane Lian, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, was ranked 194th nationally and 305th in the world. Janet Stein, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry, was ranked 265th nationally and 430th in the world. All three scientists serve on the Larner College of Medicine faculty and are UVM Cancer Center members.

This first edition ranking of top female scientists in U.S. was based on an examination of 166,880 scientists on Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Graph. Inclusion criteria for this global ranking of top scientists were based on the H-index, a measure of scholarly contributions made within the scholar’s given discipline, in addition to the awards and achievements of the scientists. Only top 1000 female scientists with the highest H-index are featured in the ranking.

According to a November 23, 2022, online article by, “The aim of this ranking is to inspire female scholars, women considering an academic career, as well as decision-makers worldwide with the example of successful women in the scientific community.” The article described the long history of gender bias in research and commented on the need to address systemic gender inequality.

Cushman, previously recognized in the 2018 and 2019 Most Highly Cited Researchers ranking by Clarivate Analytics, is an international expert on the epidemiology of coagulation, inflammation, and other vascular-related domains in relation to etiology and pathogenesis of stroke, cognitive impairment, cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases of aging. She conducts research, publishes as a key investigator on several longitudinal health studies, and serves as the medical director of the thrombosis and hemostasis program at the UVM Medical Center and editor-in-chief of the open access journal of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis. She received the American Heart Association’s Population Research Prize in 2018 and Award of Meritorious Achievement in 2020. Cushman serves as the Department of Medicine’s vice chair for emerging scientists and is a University Scholar at UVM. Read more about Cushman’s scholarly achievements on the site.

Both Lian and Stein are research experts in bone biology and skeletal complications of malignancies, and are frequent collaborators.

Lian, who received the 2022 Research Mentorship Award during the Larner College of Medicine’s Dean’s Celebration of Excellence in Research, was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2016 and was elected and served as president of the worldwide American Society for Bone and Mineral Research from 2009 to 2011. Her research focuses on areas including combinatorial control mechanisms for skeletal development; characterization of mouse phenotypes resulting from mutation of bone related genes; and cancer cell biology in the bone microenvironment. Her laboratory was responsible for the discovery of osteocalcin – the first unique marker of bone that served as a circulating biomarker to evaluate osteoporosis. Currently, her lab focuses on establishing the epigenetic and genetic modifications in primary tumor cells that mediate homing to bone and responsiveness of tumor cells to the bone microenvironment that results in destruction of the bone. Lian is an active member of the European Calcified Tissue Society and in 2020, received the organization's Mike Horton Basic/Translational Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the field of bone and calcified tissue. Read more about Lian’s scholarly achievements on the site.

Stein, elected in 2016 as a Fellow of the AAAS, conducts research focused on the regulation of gene expression during the cell cycle and during the proliferation/differentiation transition. Her laboratory investigates altered gene expression and regulation that occur in cancer and cell cycle regulation of histone gene transcription. Currently, she is co-principal investigator on a $9 million, five-year National Cancer Institute grant examining the underlying causes of breast cancer with the goal of identifying new cellular-level targets that could be treated with drugs to prevent the disease or halt its progression. Read more about Stein’s scholarly achievements on the site.