For contribution to science and technology, eight honored

By Sheena McFarland
The Salt Lake Tribune
November 15, 2007

The State Advisory Council for Science and Technology honored eight Utahns for their contributions to science and technology Tuesday night. Following are the recipients of the Governor's Science and Technology Medal:


  • Chris Ireland, professor and chairman of the University of Utah's department of medicinal chemistry.
    Ireland joined the U. faculty in 1983. He is honored for his leadership in the field of natural product drug discovery, focusing on the discovery of anti-tumor agents from natural product sources including marine invertebrate animals, tropical plants and fungi.
  • Tom Wilkerson, senior scientist at Utah State University Research Foundation's Space Dynamics Laboratory.
    Wilkerson is an internationally recognized expert in using lasers to analyze remote areas of the atmosphere, also called lidar. His research has led to advances in fields ranging from solar winds to ionized gases. For more than 50 years, he has focused on human activities' influence on atomic, molecular and particulate species.


  • Greg Jones, executive director of research at the Moran Eye Center.
    Jones was the state science adviser for nearly two years. Prior to that, he spent a number of years moving between academic research and industry. Jones is the executive director of research at the Moran Eye Center and the CEO of VisTrails, Inc.


  • Josh James, co-founder and CEO of Omniture.
    Omniture is a leader in optimizing online businesses. It was one of the highest performing IPO's on the Nasdaq for 2006, and has been cited by Ziff Davis as the fastest organically growing public software company.
  • Jerry Nelson, chief scientific officer and laboratory director at Nelson Labs.
    Nelson was recognized for contributing to the economic development of the medical device and pharmaceutical industry in Utah. The company he co-founded with his wife Lynda has created employment and training opportunities for many Utah graduates.
    Science Education:
  • Bonnie Baxter, Westminster College associate professor of biology.
    Baxter has studied the microbial diversity of the Great Salt Lake. She focuses on extremely hypersaline ecosystems and integrates research in undergraduate science education.
  • Paul Nance, science teacher specialist for Jordan School District.
    For the past six years, Nance has worked to help new and experienced teachers understand effective ways to teach hands-on science. Currently, Nance is over a kindergarten through sixth-grade science writing team that develops science lessons integrated with literacy.

Special Achievement Award:

  • Jack Sunderlage, president and CEO of ContentWatch.
    ContentWatch Inc. provides Internet Management software and services. Previously, he had a long career in the information technology industry, holding executive positions with companies including UNISYS and Compaq Computer.