The National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) is the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement, bestowed by the president of the United States on America's leading innovators. There were 11 laureates in the 1998 class.
Denton A. Cooley, M.D.
Texas Heart Institute, Texas Medical Center
For his inspirational skill, leadership, and technical accomplishments during six decades practicing cardiovascular surgery, including performing the first successful human heart transplant in the United States and the world's first implantation of an artificial heart in man as a bridge to heart transplantation; and for founding the Texas Heart Institute, which has served more heart patients than any other institution in the world.
For their pioneering achievements in plant biology and agricultural biotechnology, and for global leadership in the development and commercialization of genetically modified crops to enhance agricultural productivity and sustainability.
For their invention of UNIX® operating system and the C programming language, which together have led to enormous growth of an entire industry, thereby enhancing American leadership in the Information Age.
For its leadership in applying breakthroughs in biology to the development of lifesaving and life-enhancing pharmaceutical products designed to treat large, previously underserved patient populations throughout the world, including development of hepatitis B vaccines, the first vaccines using recominant DNA technology.
For extending and enhancing human life through innovative pharmaceutical research and development, and for redefining the science of clinical study through groundbreaking and hugely complex clinical trials that are recognized models in the industry.