2007 Flemming Award Recipients

National Institute of Standards & Technology
For his contributions as a research chemist to the field of DNA measurement science, a core activity at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST).  Dr. Butler is one of the world’s leading authorities in DNA-based Human Identification measurement science and technology and is the author of the definitive text used in this field throughout the world.  Among his many significant contributions in this area, the development of “short tandem repeat (STR) markers” has revolutionized the field of DNA forensic science.  The STR markers enable analysis of very small samples of degraded DNA and can be used for human identification, particularly for investigations of mass disasters (both natural and intentional) and missing persons.  This technology was used in the World Trade Center victim identification efforts following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, and more recently has been used to aid in the identification of countless victims, including those of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq war.

United States Air Force Academy
In recognition of his outstanding and sustained achievement as a Professor of Computer Science at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.  Dr. Carlisle expertly crafted the Ada Graphical Integrated Development Environment (AdaGIDE) used for the development of computer software in the Ada programming language for U.S. Air Force programs, including the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft and since incorporated into technical curricula in more than 100 colleges and universities in 9 countries.  In addition, Dr. Carlisle integrated Ada with the Microsoft Net Framework to create the A# programming language which supports critical defense-related activities, including the B-1 bomber program at Warner Robbins Air Force Base.  Finally, to foster the teaching of computer programming and algorithmic thinking skills, Professor Carlisle created the RAPTOR visual programming language and environment that is utilized by all three major U.S. service academies as well as many other universities and colleges in the USA and 5 other countries.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center
In recognition of her innovative and important contributions and leadership as a hydrologist, physical scientist, and Branch Head in the Earth Sciences Division of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.  Dr. Peters-Lidard is internationally known for her contributions to high-resolution land surface modelling and satellite data assimilation, and particularly for the application of high-performance computing and communications technologies to this problem.  By creatively synthesizing data and models, she has improved the understanding of the water and energy exchanges that impact weather and climate.  Her highly successful and award-winning Land Information System project is revolutionizing the Nation’s hydrometeorological forecasting capabilities by effectively transitioning the latest NASA science and technology to other agencies with which she works closely, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Air Force Weather Agency.  She is an active participant in the scientific community as a journal editor and conference chair.

Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
For the major contributions he has made throughout his career to our understanding of how the integrity of genome is maintained.  Dr. Nussenzweig, a senior investigator at NCI, has made a series of incisive discoveries in the fields of DNA repair and oncogenesis.  This has included establishing that the major non-homologous end joining pathway acts as a genomic “caretaker” that protects the cancer, determining the etiology of chromosomal translocations associated with lymphomas; discovery that a core histone, the basic unit utilized by cells to compact their genomes, can act as a tumor suppressor; and finding two complementary genome maintenance functions in DNA repair and apoptosis that prevent genetic damage from being passed from one generation to the next.  Dr. Nussenzweig’s work on the fundamental aspects of DNA damage detection and repair has important implications for our understanding of the causes of cancer and other age-related pathologies.

National Institute of Standards & Technology
For fundamental theoretical advances in solid-state physics and optics.  Dr. Shirley has advanced the first-principles calculation of the electronic structure of crystalline insulators and semiconductors to allow the highly accurate prediction of their optical properties from the infra-red to the x-ray spectral region.  He has developed efficient approaches to include electron-hole effects and phonon-phonon interactions in the solution of the equations describing excited states in solids, necessary for accurate optical constant prediction in these many-electron systems.  In addition Dr. Shirley has advanced the theory of optical diffraction to allow the rapid and systematic calculation of diffraction effects in complex optical systems.  His advances have made accurate optical diffraction corrections accessible to experimental scientists developing infrared radiation standards.

National Institute of Standards and Technology
For his outstanding achievement as a research physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  Dr. Yildirim has developed a pioneering approach of combining first-principles, theoretical calculations with neutron scattering measurements to understand, identify and exploit the key properties in new and important materials.  His innovative, quantum-mechanical methodology is fundamentally altering the way that scientists attack a broad range of research problems and has provided a new paradigm for addressing critical issues in materials science.  Dr. Yildirim’s approach has already led to an understanding of the superconductivity of MgB2, a material that exhibits the highest transition temperature of any conventional superconductor.  More recently he has invented completely new ways to enhance the capacity to store hydrogen in a variety of sold-state materials including alanates, carbon nanotubes, metal-organic frameworks, and ethylene molecules.  His latest results offer the promise of surmounting what is widely considered to be the most serious obstacle in the road to the hydrogen economy.

United States Air Force, Space Based Infrared Systems Wing
For extraordinary contributions to the federal service as Chief of Operations for the Space Based Infrared Systems Combined Task Force in Boulder, Colorado.  Major Bode exercised exceptional leadership in a wide range program acquisition, technical test, and operations functions to initiate successful operations of a unique new Air Force satellite payload.  The results provided dramatic, tangible contributions to our nation’s ability to warn and defend against threat of hostile missile attack and weapons of mass destruction.  Major Bode also displayed outstanding initiative by working with representatives of multiple federal agencies to extend the promise of this modern satellite payload to benefit civil applications across the globe.

Tax Division, Department of Justice
For her exceptional achievement as an Appellate Section Attorney with the Tax Division, Department of Justice in Washington, DC.  During her six year career with the Tax Division, Ms. Hagley has successfully argued numerous cases, established significant legal precedents and saved the Government millions of tax dollars.  Two extremely important cases among many stand out.  In successfully arguing a high-profile case, Coltec Industries, Inc. v. U.S., she persuaded the Federal Circuit to reverse a lower court decision in a closely watched "contingent liability" tax shelter case in which the taxpayer claimed a loss deduction of $378 million.  This landmark decision was consummated when the Supreme Court denied Coltec's petition for a writ of certiorari.  This case was an especially important victory for the Government because it reaffirmed the applicability of the economic-substance doctrine in abusive tax shelter cases.  Ms. Hagley also successfully briefed and argued another closely watched case, BB&T Corp. v. United States.  There, the Fourth Circuit agreed with the Government that a taxpayer was not entitled to the tax benefits from a lease/leaseback tax shelter called the LILO, holding that the Government was not bound by the labels that taxpayers placed on a transaction but could instead look to the transaction's underlying substance to determine whether the claimed tax benefits were legitimate.  This case was particularly important because many corporate taxpayers had purchased this tax shelter, claiming billions of dollars in tax benefits.  In short, Ms. Hagley is single-handedly responsible for helping turn the tide against the proliferation of abusive individual and corporate tax shelter schemes, and ensuring that every taxpayer pays his, her or its fair share of the federal tax burden.

Civil Division, Department of Justice
For her remarkable performance as an Appellate Staff Attorney in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.  Ms. Klein achieved extraordinary victories in some of the Department’s most important and sensitive appellate cases.  For example, in Public Citizen v. U.S. District Court she successfully defended the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, legislation designed to reduce direct federal spending by $39 billion over five years.  In addition, vital public and private interest rest on this legislation, whose titles amended a wide variety of statutes including the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, the Communications Act of 1934, and the Social Security Act.  Other significant statutes successfully defended by Ms. Klein include the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.  She has displayed an unparalleled ability to evaluate a complex legal problem, distill its essence, and present the Government’s position in so compelling a manner that its merit cannot be denied.

Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior
For her outstanding leadership as the Assistant Director, Human Capital Management in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC.  Ms. Velasco has led BLM’s efforts in strategic planning and budgeting, program evaluations, organizational management, and finance.  In 2006, she was selected to take on the challenges of workforce management.  Of a total BLM workforce 10,000, some 35% will be eligible for retirement within a few years.  BLM recognized the urgent need for an executive who understood the natural resource challenges and could transform the workforce.  Meeting the competing demands of the 21st century – energy development, recreation and climate change – Ms. Velasco understood that the Bureau needed to recruit and retain exceptional candidates who reflect the public they serve.  Her efforts have improved the effectiveness of leadership recruitment and development, decreased administrative burdens and built BLM’s capacity to deliver upon its mission.