- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 20, 2007

Two scientists were honored yesterday as unsung heroes of the federal government for discoveries that led to the development of a vaccine for human papillomavirus, the virus that causes the majority of cervical cancers.

Dr. Douglas Lowy and John Schiller of the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research at the National Institutes of Health each received the Service to America Federal Employee of the Year award from the Partnership for Public Service.

Both men were grateful to be chosen from such a prestigious group of nominees.

“We are most gratified that it provides an opportunity to highlight the way publicly funded biomedical research can positively affect public health,” said Mr. Schiller, senior investigator at the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology.

“This sort of work is something that takes a long time and requires input from many people, and we are simply symbols of the many people who have made very important contributions that have resulted in the vaccine,” added Dr. Lowy, the laboratory’s chief.

In addition to Dr. Lowy and Mr. Schiller, the seven persons honored yesterday for their service were:

c The Call to Service Medal was awarded to Nicole Faison of the Office of Public and Indian Housing. Ms. Faison created an income verification program that eliminated more than $2 billion in fraudulent payments by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance program.

c The Career Achievement Medal was awarded to Dr. David Vesely of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tampa, Fla. Dr. Vesely discovered three hormones made by the heart that benefit the treatment of congestive heart failure, kidney failure and cancer.

c The Homeland Security Medal was awarded to Tracy Protor Mustin of the Office of Second Line of Defense at the Energy Department. She led an initiative to put radiological and nuclear detectors at seaports, airports and border crossings across the globe.

c The Citizen Services Medal was awarded to Dinah F.B. Cohen of the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program at the Defense Department. She filled more than 57,000 requests for people with disabilities, including 2,400 for wounded service members.

c The Justice and Law Enforcement Medal was awarded to John S. Morgan, of the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice. He created a program that has helped solve thousands of cold cases and expanded local law enforcements’ capacity to utilize DNA evidence.

c The National Security Medal was awarded to Anh Duong of Naval Operations for Information, Plans and Strategy. She designed the thermobaric bomb, which is credited with helping win the war in Afghanistan.

c The Science and Environment Medal was awarded to Frazer Lockhart of the Rocky Flats Project at the Energy Department. Mr. Lockhart completed the first successful cleanup of a former nuclear-weapons facility 60 years ahead of schedule and $30 billion under budget.

Partnership President Max Stier said the awards are a good way to inform the public about the importance of government employees.

“Unfortunately, people don’t know how good their government is,” Mr. Stier said.

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