Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL researchers capture prestigious DOE award

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., July 8, 1997 — Three researchers at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Betty K. Mansfield, Tuan Vo-Dinh, and Michael A. Huston, were recent recipients of the DOE Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Exceptional Service Award. They were among 12 recipients honored nationwide for their outstanding contributions to science and society.

Mansfield was recognized for her efforts as founding editor of the Human Genome News, a key source of public information on the Human Genome Project for the United States and international genetics research community. Mansfield is a task leader of ORNL's Human Genome Management Information System (HGMIS), which produces resources to facilitate research and help reduce duplicating efforts by providing an information exchange forum for investigators worldwide.

Vo-Dinh, group leader of the Advanced Monitoring Development Group in the Chemical and Biological Physics Section, was acknowledged for his invention of analytical technologies applicable to biological and environmental monitoring and pollutant control and the transfer of such technologies to the private sector. One such technology is a minimally invasive optical method for cancer diagnosis without biopsy. The new method could revolutionize medicine because it requires no tissue removal for diagnosis of some tumors, and the tests identify cancer almost instantly.

Huston, a senior scientist in the Environmental Sciences Division, was honored for conducting outstanding research in support of DOE's Biological and Environmental Research program for ecosystem functioning. He was also recognized for developing innovative concepts of the general patterns of biodiversity and determining how environmental change and human influences affect biodiversity.

Some of the most notable BER activities have crossed traditional research boundaries in a search for novel solutions to energy-related biological and environmental challenges. Other accomplishments receiving recognition include developing advanced medical diagnostic tools and treatments for human disease, assessing the health effects of radiation, tracing the regional and global movement of energy-related pollutants, and establishing the world's first human genome program.

The awards were presented at a symposium in Washington, D.C., sponsored by DOE and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences celebrating 50 years of scientific achievements by the DOE Biological and Environmental Research Program.

Symposium speakers from academia and government noted the important role played by national laboratories and other DOE sponsored programs in leading major advances in scientific understanding. Multi-purpose laboratories such as ORNL are particularly valuable for their capability to support the sustained, multi-disciplinary research programs needed to address the complex problems faced by today's society.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.