Honorees

Marc Levitan, Long Phan and the Tornado Wind Loads Team

Created the world’s first tornado-resistant building codes, conducting groundbreaking research that will save lives and protect critical facilities like schools, hospitals and emergency centers from extensive property damage.

Science, Technology and Environment

Neil Cheatwood, Stephen Hughes

Envisioned and led the development of a new inflatable heat shield for planetary entry, descent and landing that will enable spacecraft to deliver bigger payloads to distant planets, including during a future human mission to Mars.

Science, Technology and Environment

Yan Ping (Judy) Chen, Jay D. Evans

Revolutionized bee disease diagnosis and treatment, introducing cutting-edge technologies to detect virus pathogens and developing novel medicines to enhance bee health and prevent colony collapse.

Science, Technology and Environment

Tara McHugh

Partnered with innovators to develop novel healthy processed food products that have reduced food waste and created jobs in high-unemployment areas, and now leads more than 1,400 employees in eight Western states.

Anne Lord Bailey, Caitlin Rawlins and the VA Immersive Team

Built a cutting-edge nationwide immersive technology network to empower front-line staff and enable the treatment of veterans for a wide range of medical issues such as anxiety, depression, pain management, spinal cord injuries and more.

Adam M. Phillippy, Sergey Koren, Arang Rhie and The Telomere-to-Telomere Team

Conducted the first complete assembly of the human genome, sequencing the most difficult, final part of our genetic makeup, advancing our understanding of our biological blueprint and opening up scientific frontiers that could revolutionize the treatment of a multitude of diseases.

Sarah L. Nelson, Samantha L. Calkins and the National Ignition Team

Managed a complex scientific enterprise that for the first time produced a fusion reaction that created a net energy gain, a breakthrough in the decades-long, multibillion-dollar quest that could lead to advancements in national defense and clean energy.

Science, Technology and Environment

J. Vincent Edwards 

Developed innovative and highly effective new cotton-based medical gauze and dressings for trauma and chronic wound patients that are now in use by hospitals and first responders.

Science, Technology and Environment

Reem M. Ghandour, DrPH

Transformed and revitalized a national survey on children’s physical, emotional and developmental health, providing timely and insightful data to state and federal policymakers.

Science, Technology and Environment

Jay Barlow, Ph.D.

Played an influential national role in monitoring and managing marine mammals by creating new survey methods and technology to protect and save the lives of whales, dolphins and other species.

Science, Technology and Environment

Cheryl T. Seager

Initiated creative and extraordinarily successful techniques to identify and clamp down on violators of air, hazardous waste and water pollution laws, particularly in communities at risk.

Science, Technology and Environment

Cynthia A. Newberg

Played an instrumental role internationally and in the U.S. to curb the use of hydrofluorocarbons, incredibly potent greenhouse gases that are major contributors to climate change.

Science, Technology and Environment

Brigitte C. Widemann, M.D. and team

Developed a breakthrough medical treatment for children with inoperable tumors that cause disabling pain, disfigurement, blindness and motor dysfunction.

Science, Technology and Environment

Brandon Wales

Protected government and commercial computer networks from highly sophisticated and damaging cyberattacks, safeguarding the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain and reducing the risks of devastating ransomware attacks.

Science, Technology and Environment

Steven Musser, Ph.D.

Championed the use of whole genome sequencing and a public database to identify foodborne diseases that sicken millions of people every year, enabling authorities to remove dangerous products more quickly from the marketplace and protect public health.

Science, Technology and Environment

Joseph Poux Jr.

Organized a series of global environmental law enforcement operations targeting marine pollution and hazardous waste dumping that uncovered thousands of violations and led to the prosecution of countless individuals, companies and criminal networks.

Science, Technology and Environment

Beth Ripley, M.D., Ph.D.

Created an interconnected, hospital-based 3D printing network that is assisting health care providers with medical procedures, reducing unnecessary surgeries and helping improve quality of life for veterans.

Science, Technology and Environment

Donna J. Shaver, Ph.D.

Championed the conservation and recovery efforts for the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, helping save the species from extinction by protecting and preserving the nests at Padre Island National Seashore.

Science, Technology and Environment

Nancy J. Sullivan, Ph.D.

Developed a highly effective medication for the deadly Ebola virus now awaiting federal approval, providing the ability to treat patients with this highly contagious disease that has ravaged African countries.

Science, Technology and Environment

Daniel B. Jernigan, M.D.

Led response efforts for dozens of disease crises, including Ebola, SARS and West Nile virus, while greatly improving our country’s ability to identify, prepare for and respond to inevitable flu pandemics

Science, Technology and Environment

W. Marston Linehan, M.D.

Discovered six different genetic origins of kidney cancer and provided the foundation for the development of targeted therapies that have saved thousands of lives

Science, Technology and Environment

McMahan “Mac” Louis Gray

Created a game-changing technology that removes carbon dioxide from power plant emissions and absorbs heavy metals, such as lead, from municipal water supplies

Science, Technology and Environment

Othmane Benafan, Ph.D.

Advanced the science and use of a special alloy that returns to its original shape after being heated, leading to groundbreaking technologies that enable safer, more efficient aviation and space exploration

Science, Technology and Environment

Margaret Honein, Ph.D.

Collected and analyzed critical data to help protect women and babies from the mosquito-borne Zika virus that was spreading rapidly in the U.S. and its territories

Science, Technology and Environment

Tim Schmit

Developed cutting-edge satellite technology for detecting and monitoring severe weather, helping protect people and property from approaching disasters

Science, Technology and Environment

Soheila J. Maleki, Ph.D.

Led life-changing research on the causes, detection, prevention and potential remedies for peanut and tree nut allergies, which affect up to two million American children

Science, Technology and Environment

Barbara G. Kutchko, Ph.D.

Helped rewrite standards for the use of foamed cement in oil wells, to prevent blowouts and damaging oil spills and to better protect workers and the environment

Science, Technology and Environment

Rory A. Cooper

Designed innovative wheelchairs and other assistive technology equipment that has greatly improved the mobility and quality of life for hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans and other Americans

Science, Technology and Environment

Justin C. Sanchez

Oversaw research to develop life-like prosthetic arms with near-natural dexterity that enables amputees to pick up small or fragile objects, and is managing efforts to restore the ability for brain-injured soldiers to form new memories

David J. Lipman and the GenBank Team

Built and heads the world’s largest and most influential repository of genetic sequence data now being used by biomedical researchers around the world, including those studying infectious, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases

Science, Technology and Environment

David A. Hindin

Spearheaded the EPA’s use of advanced pollution monitoring technology to increase compliance with federal environmental laws, provide more public transparency and reduce harmful pollutants in our air and waterways.

Science, Technology and Environment

Jaques Reifman and the APPRAISE Team

Developed an artificial intelligence system for medics to quickly detect if severely injured patients in transit are hemorrhaging, improving survival rates by preparing trauma centers to act immediately upon the patient’s arrival.

Science, Technology and Environment

Dennis C. Reuter and the LEISA Team

Developed a sophisticated instrument for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft that revealed startling new information about Pluto’s terrain and composition, altering our perceptions of the solar system.

Science, Technology and Environment

Jacob E. Moss

Built an alliance of federal and international agencies, countries and corporations to bring more efficient cook stoves and cleaner burning fuels to homes in developing nations, protecting the environment and the health of millions of people worldwide.

Science, Technology and Environment

Richard Alan Feely

Conducted eye-opening research on ocean acidification caused by global carbon dioxide emissions, which poses a serious risk to the health of sea life and the marine environment, and to people who rely on the oceans for food.

Science, Technology and Environment

Christopher D. Doley

Crafted a comprehensive, multibillion dollar plan to repair the immense damage to waterways, land, fish and wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Science, Technology and Environment

Griffin P. Rodgers

Developed the first effective drug treatment for sickle cell disease to lessen pain and suffering, and oversaw a stem cell transplant clinical trial that reversed the debilitating illness in a majority of patients.

Science, Technology and Environment

John Cymbalsky

Brought together industry and environmental groups to adopt new efficiency standards for appliances and commercial equipment that will save consumers money and reduce energy consumption and air pollution.

Science, Technology and Environment

Jeffrey Rogers

Created a wearable sensor that provides real-time information on the risk of traumatic brain injuries to soldiers exposed to bomb blasts, resulting in quicker medical treatment and uncovering previously undiagnosed injuries.

Science, Technology and Environment

William A. Bauman and Ann M. Spungen

Greatly improved the health care and the quality of life of paralyzed veterans by developing new ways to treat long-overlooked medical problems.

Science, Technology and Environment

Richard Rast

Developed a new, low-cost method of locating and tracking space debris that could severely damage or destroy spacecraft and vital communications, navigation and weather satellites.

Science, Technology and Environment

William Charmley and James Tamm

Led an interagency team that developed standards for cars and light trucks that will double fuel economy by 2025 and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6 billion metric tons.

Science, Technology and Environment

Josh Silverman

Discovered and led efforts to halt the release of more than one million tons of the world’s most potent greenhouse gas from Energy Department facilities.

David Lavery and the Mars Science Laboratory Team

Led the Curiosity rover mission to Mars that is exploring the Red Planet’s geology and climate, and assessing whether conditions are favorable for microbial life and future human exploration.

Science, Technology and Environment

Paul D. Jablonski

Revolutionized coronary stent technology by developing a new platinum-chromium alloy that makes the device thinner, more flexible and visible by x-ray.

Science, Technology and Environment

Nora D. Volkow

Demonstrated that drug addiction is a disease that changes brain function and created new strategies for treating patients with substance abuse issues.

Myron “Ron” Diftler and the Robonaut2 Team

Developed the first humanoid robot ever sent into space, a revolutionary machine with a unique human-like hand that can take over simple, repetitive or dangerous tasks now performed by astronauts.

Science, Technology and Environment

Neal S. Young

Saves lives through cutting-edge research and treatments for patients with bone marrow failure diseases, including the rare and once deadly blood disorder known as aplastic anemia.

Science, Technology and Environment

Kyle Myers

Sets the scientific standards to ensure that the pictures produced by medical imaging devices are accurate and can be reliably used to assist in the diagnosis of serious diseases.

Science, Technology and Environment

Barbara Linder

Developed and tested innovative ways to prevent and treat the growing epidemic of type 2 diabetes in children, particularly among minority and disadvantaged children who are at greatest risk for this disease.

Science, Technology and Environment

Fenella France

Developed innovative imaging techniques to unearth new historical information from some of the nation’s most treasured documents, including the Declaration of Independence.

Science, Technology and Environment

Diane Powell and the LAUNCH Team

Created a unique government and private-sector partnership to identify, support and help take to market innovative technologies that offer solutions to global sustainability problems.