April 19, 2023 — Heather Vincent, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Florida College of Medicine’s department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, stands among the top 2% of researchers in her field based on the number of times her work is cited in studies by other scientists.
This is based on an international survey by PLOS Biology, a respected open access journal.
Vincent’s research is focused on the health effects of exercise and how it can prevent injury and fight disease. This research has implications for many fields, including aging, biochemistry, cell biology and neurophysiology, which Vincent credits with pushing up her citation total, which currently stands at about 7,015.
“When you think about it, exercise has such a big impact on so many fields, across a diversity of disciplines,” Vincent said. “The citation metric really means a good deal to me because of this overflow into all these different domains.”
The science bug bit Vincent as a 5-year-old. She visited the Boston Museum of Science with her parents, and something immediately caught her attention. She stood transfixed.
It was an exhibit called the Transparent Woman, a mesmerizing replica of the female body, with a transparent plastic skin allowing a view of blood vessels, bones and organs.
Vincent, who loved art, tried to draw the Transparent Woman that night. She used the encyclopedia to help with the anatomy. A life’s path had opened before her.
She later attended UF for her doctoral work.
As a student, Vincent looked up to senior researchers who had published widely. A published study seemed so prestigious. Her time came: a study analyzing soreness and muscle damage in weightlifters. Still a graduate student, she was lead author on a team of researchers. One co-author would be her future husband.
The journal acceptance letter arrived, and Vincent felt a surge of excitement. Not long later, another scientific paper “cited” her study, referring to it as a source of information.
The list of citations lengthened as her research stature grew. She became a respected authority and the scientist other budding researchers look up to.