Award Recipients

In his remarks at the award ceremonies throughout his 48 years involvement in them, Dr. Arthur S. Flemming always thanked the honorees for "going the extra mile in service to their country."

2013 Arthur S. Flemming Award Winners

2013 Flemming Award Winners

Dr. Christopher B. Cornelissen, Department of the Navy, Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California
For his outstanding achievements as Director of the Medical & Surgical Simulation Center while spearheading Navy Medicine’s efforts to develop the first healthcare simulation center combining cadaveric and mannequin-based training modalities within a military medical treatment facility.  Dr. Cornelissen has inspired and led a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders, building a sustainable healthcare simulation platform, serving graduate medical education, physicians, nurses, and corpsmen who deploy, in support of Navy Medicine expeditionary medical platforms to train those who care for ill or injured service members.  He realized the necessity to proactively equip, staff, and sustain a regional simulation center of excellence by authoring the proposal and serving as program manager for Navy Wounded, III, and Injured funds allocated to healthcare simulation.  Proactively working within the enterprise, he promoted the allocation of resources to equip smaller simulation centers throughout the Navy Medicine West region.  A visionary educator, he forged collaborative academic ties between Naval Medical Center San Diego, Naval Postgraduate School and the Uniformed Services University to create an online technology in simulation course module.

Dr. Francesca Cunningham, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Pharmacy Benefits Management Services in Hines, IL
For her exceptional leadership as the Associate Chief Consultant of the Center for Medication Safety (VAMedSAFE) and Program Manager for Pharmacoepidemiologic and Outcomes Research for the VA Pharmacy Benefits Management Services (PBM). Since the inception of VAMedSAFE, Dr. Cunningham's leadership has grown the program into a comprehensive pharmacovigilance center dedicated to monitoring agency-wide practices for safe and effective medication use to identify and develop quality improvement and safety efforts that determine the clinical impact of formulary decisions on the VA system nationwide as well as address drug related safety and appropriate prescribing issues within the VHA. Dr. Cunningham's vision and support of creative solutions has resulted in the development of innovative medication safety programs. She has championed the use of integrated databases for VHA-wide drug safety surveillance and risk reduction initiatives. In addition, her safety programs were the first within the PBM to adopt the use of web-based applications. These applications allow for select high risk medication safety initiatives as well as centralization and standardization, of adverse drug event reporting throughout the VHA health care system. Such efforts have enabled Dr. Cunningham to create new processes to evaluate the significance of known adverse drug events as well as emerging drug safety issues for the purpose of optimizing medication safety in the Veteran population.

Major Christopher Genelin, US Air Force Technical Applications Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida
In recognition of his distinguished service as Deputy Chief, Operational Test and Transition Division while assigned to the Air Force Technical Applications Center with duty under the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Directorate for Science & Technology, in leading a 17-member joint team of military, civilian, and government support contractors to provide planning, execution, and management of 22 national classified technical development programs worth $59 million.  He developed and demonstrated a persistent global surveillance system capable of operating in a maritime environment.  The prototype system was the first of its kind, and incorporated an electro-optical sensor paired with a satellite data exfiltration path integrated onto an unmanned surface vehicle.  Additionally, Maj. Genelin translated warfighter requirements from Headquarters Air Force, Navy, Department of Defense, and other government agencies and was responsible for the development, testing, and fielding of national priority technical programs, filling urgent technical gaps for the intelligence community.  Finally, he managed a $45 million Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a rapid response prototype laboratory, 15 Department of Defense maritime vessels, and 6,000 intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance assets. 

Dr. Suzanne Meredith Gilboa, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities in Atlanta, Georgia
For her accomplishments as a research epidemiologist and outstanding leader within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, working to protect and promote the health of pregnant women and babies. Dr. Gilboa’s commitment to maternal and child health was solidified during her two years as a US Peace Corps volunteer in rural Nicaragua, where she worked closely with local health workers. Currently, she leads a group of researchers and public health practitioners to better understand the modifiable causes of birth defects and to develop and disseminate innovative strategies for primary and secondary prevention. She has made significant contributions to the recognition of risk factors for birth defects—such as diabetes and obesity, selected prescription and over-the-counter medications, and exposure to occupational or environmental hazards during early pregnancy. Four of Dr. Gilboa’s first- or co- authored manuscripts have been recognized with CDC’s Charles C. Shepard Science Award nominations; one of her first-authored papers received a CDC’s Statistical Science Award Honorable Mention.

Dr. Emanuel H. Knill, US Department of Commerce, National Institute for Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado
For his remarkable accomplishments as a NIST Fellow in the Applied and Computational Mathematics Division of the Information Technology Laboratory.   Dr. Emanuel Knill is one of the world’s leading theorists in the field of quantum information science and engineering.  An emerging discipline at the intersection of physics and computer science, quantum information is likely to revolutionize science and technology in the same way that lasers, electronics, and computers did in the 20th century. Dr. Knill has developed some of the essential mathematical foundations for exploring the unique rules of quantum mechanics which govern atomic-scale systems to enable the development of novel computing devices with phenomenal increases in information storage and processing capability. His groundbreaking research in the theory of quantum optics, quantum error correction, quantum state tomography, quantum computer benchmarking, and quantum algorithms is providing essential guidance to the experimental physics community as it works to create a new age of quantum engineering.

Dr. Dmitry N. KosterevDepartment of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration in Portland, Oregon
For his overall vision and technical guidance as an electrical engineer with the Bonneville Power Administration’s nationally recognized synchrophasor project.  In 2013, BPA completed the installation of its unparalleled synchrophasor network, part of a three-year, $30 million investment. BPA’s synchrophasor network is the only one in North America designed to take split-second control actions when it detects a problem on the electrical grid. The network of devices transmits precise power system readings (including current, frequency, and voltage) 60 times each second to BPA’s control centers, providing operators an unprecedented view of the power system’s dynamic state.  Thanks to Dr. Kosterev’s technical vision, expertise and leadership, BPA is now collecting 137,000 grid status measurements every second, which are processed in real time to detect grid vulnerabilities and alert power system operators if the power system is at risk. Dr. Kosterev’s work has not only helped create a more efficient electrical grid, it is directly related to system stability and reliability. The resulting improvement to system performance benefits the entire Western Electric Coordination Council region, helping ensure a reliable power system and advancing the integration of carbon-free renewable resources.

Dr. Robert Jay Lederman, Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland
In recognition of his successful pursuit of new medical strategies too risky for industry investment as a senior investigator for the Institute. Dr. Lederman introduced radiation-free MRI catheterization into clinical practice at NIH. Knowing that radiation is especially dangerous for children, he cultivated a close relationship with cardiologists at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC) in Washington, D.C. Ultimately this led NHLBI to install a MRI catheterization suite at CNMC, which already enables pediatric cardiologists to diagnose and treat children more accurately and with less radiation. Among his numerous inventions, Dr. Lederman developed a non-surgical technique to tighten leaky mitral valves in patients with failing hearts, in “cerclage annuloplasty.” For leaky tricuspid valves caused by lung and congenital heart diseases, he “breaks out” of the heart from within, to surround the heart with a supportive band inside the pericardial sac. He broke another taboo, poking a hole in the aorta from the neighboring vena cava, to permit transcatheter aortic valve replacement in patients with no other options. Collaborators at Henry Ford Hospital have used this “caval-aortic” lifesaving method in more than a dozen patients so far.

Dr. Igor L. MedintzUS Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C.
For his vision and dedication as a research biologist which have established him as a world-recognized leader in the growing field of bionanotechnology. Dr. Medintz is one of the Naval Research Laboratory’s leading scientists engaged in bionanotechnology. Under the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the Department of Defense is tasked with developing new materials by functionally integrating biological molecules with nanoparticles to provide breakthroughs in biosensing, nanomedicine, and energy harvesting for enhancing warfighter capabilities and battle system components. He is one of the very few who realized at an early point the technological importance of such bio-nano hybrids and the role the interface between these two materials plays in defining the biological function. One of the most important achievements of Dr. Medintz is his elucidation of how quantum dots (a special type of nanoparticle) transfer energy with other nanoparticles and bio/organic molecules. He has demonstrated that such nanoscale assemblies can lead to biosensors capable of monitoring the chemical states within a single human. Sensing and understanding biological function at a single cell level, can lead to a better understanding of diseases and hence enable developments of new treatments.

Dr. Carole A. Parent, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland
For her pioneering achievements as a senior investigator with NCI. Dr. Parent is a world-leading expert in the field of directed cell migration. She has identified novel mechanisms used by cells to communicate with each other as they move in a concerted fashion towards a chemical attractant, a process that underlies fundamentally important processes occurring during embryonic development, responses to infection, and cancer metastasis. Dr. Parent’s success results from her study of diverse but complementary model systems in parallel, placing a strong emphasis on live cell imaging and cutting edge molecular reporters, and performed in close collaboration with physicists. When combined with the sophisticated tools and assays currently available to biochemists and cell biologists, this very unique approach allows Dr. Parent to focus on specific molecules in the context of complex pathways, and on single cells in the context of tissues and organs. Her pioneering contributions to defining the intricacies of single and group cell migration have greatly advanced our understanding of the root causes of major public health challenges including developmental defects, chronic infections, chronic wounds, and various facets of cancer.

Dr. Thomas T. Perkins, US Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado
For creating unprecedented new ways, as a physicist, to precisely measure and manipulate the key molecules of life (DNA, RNA, proteins) under real world biological conditions for the first time, through innovative, multidisciplinary programs combining atomic force microscopy (AFM), laser physics, molecular biology, and advanced electronics. Dr. Perkins’ leadership has led to the invention of new AFM systems 100 times more stable and sensitive than the previous world’s best. He achieved this remarkable improvement in the wet, warm environment needed to measure the molecules of life under natural conditions, rather than in a vacuum near absolute zero required by previous AFMs.  Dr. Perkins’ work has revealed new details about the structure and function of DNA, RNA, and proteins in natural environments for the first time, providing knowledge to engineer more effective medical diagnostics and treatments.  He leads partnerships with industry to transfer advanced AFM and related technologies to develop new research and measurement tools for molecular biology. Mindful of the future, he mentors and trains the next generation of young scientists to pioneer new research and measurement technologies working in industry, universities, and national laboratories.

Ms. Angeline Purdy, J.D, US Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division in Washington, DC
In recognition of her extraordinary record of accomplishments in civil litigation as a senior attorney on behalf of the U.S. and its agencies. Ms. Purdy has achieved significant success in some of the Environment Division’s most challenging cases through her defense of government programs that have far-reaching impacts on the daily lives of U.S. citizens. The hallmark of her work is her meticulous research, thoughtful analysis, crisp and persuasive writing, and masterful oral argument. Marshaling those extraordinary skills, Ms. Purdy has successfully defended the constitutionality of a fundamental and vital element of EPA’s Superfund enforcement and cleanup programs, the science underlying EPA’s determination that emissions of greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare, and numerous other government initiatives to protect human health and the environment. She also was a member of a team that presented so devastating an attack on a State’s $4 billion natural resource damage claim against the U.S. that the State chose to dismiss the claim with prejudice before trial.

Dr. Kenneth L. Senior II, US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC
For his innovative and significant contributions and leadership as a mathematician, engineer, and Section Head of Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) Space Systems Development Department. Dr. Kenneth L. Senior II is internationally known for the development of major advances in techniques and algorithms for time keeping, system synchronization and determination of precise Global Positioning System (GPS) Time. By creatively combining data from disparate systems’ output whose performance varies with clock type, measurement interval, environmental parameters, and even the relativistic relationships with other system elements he was able to recursively estimate clock noise in the presence of system dynamics and operational parameters to a degree not previously possible.  This knowledge provides the basis for unprecedented system accuracies thereby increasing military and civilian positioning and navigation, communications, and data fusion capabilities.