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News Release 08-151

White House Announces 2007 National Medal of Science Laureates

Image of the National Medal of Science.

The National Medal of Science is the nation's highest honor for science and engineering.

September 3, 2008

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

President George W. Bush has named the recipients of the 2007 National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor for science and engineering. Honorees will receive the medals at a White House ceremony on Sept. 29, 2008.

"The 2007 National Medal of Science laureates have contributed to American science with their superb research," said Arden L. Bement, Jr., director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). "Their legacies have impacted our lives in numerous ways, from developing new therapies for diseases such as cancer to contributing to the development of the Internet and wireless communications. Their accomplishments reflect the high significance of this award."

The National Medal of Science honors individuals in a variety of fields for pioneering scientific research that has led to a better understanding of the world around us as well as to innovations and technologies that give the United States its global economic edge.

The award was established by Congress in 1959 and is administered by NSF. For more information about the National Medal of Science visit

The 2007 Laureates are:

Biological Sciences

  • Robert J. Lefkowitz, Duke University, for his research into understanding the largest, most important and most therapeutically accessible receptor system that controls the body's response to drugs and hormones.
  • Bert W. O'Malley, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, for his work on the molecular mechanisms of steroid hormone action and hormone receptors and coactivators which has had a profound impact on our knowledge of steroid hormones in normal development and in diseases.


  • Mostafa El-Sayed, Georgia Institute of Technology, for his contributions to our understanding of the electronic and catalytic properties of nanostructures and nanomaterials.


  • Leonard Kleinrock, University of California, Los Angeles, for fundamental contributions to the mathematical theory of modern data networks, including the functional specification of packet switching which is the foundation of the Internet Technology.
  • Andrew J. Viterbi, University of Southern California, for the development of the maximum-likelihood algorithm for convolution coding, and for fundamental contributions to wireless technology.

Physical Sciences

  • Fay Ajzenberg-Selove, University of Pennsylvania, for her contributions in nuclear physics that have advanced research into applications including energy generation from fusion, dating of artifacts, and nuclear medicine.
  • Charles Slichter, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for establishing nuclear magnetic resonance as a powerful tool to reveal the fundamental properties of molecules, liquids and solids, enabling the development of numerous modern technologies.
  • David Wineland, National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo., for his outstanding leadership in the science of laser cooling and manipulation of ions, that have had multiple applications in modern physics.

The 2007 National Medal of Technology and Innovation Laureates will also be honored in September. For more information on that award, please visit


Media Contacts
Dana Topousis, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-7750,

Program Contacts
Mayra Montrose, National Science Foundation, (703) 292-4757,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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