2020 Audio - Silver

In three stories from NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Rob Stein and his colleagues Joe Neel and Jane Greenhalgh told the story of Victoria Gray, a patient with sickle cell disease who received the first use of a groundbreaking new CRISPR treatment for her genetic disorder. Stein followed the emotional narrative with grace and care, exploring both the science and the impact that science has on human lives. The third piece of the series followed up with Gray a year later, during a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. Rich Monastersky, chief features editor for Nature in Washington, D.C., said he appreciates how Stein and his colleagues gave the “time and space to convey the how the disease has affected [Gray], what it's like being part of a clinical trial, and the way it has altered her life.” Throughout the emotional narrative, Stein also managed to dive into the complicated science behind gene editing. The stories on a promising treatment for sickle-cell disease “stand out as an exceptionally moving exploration of cutting-edge science and its impact on people,” Monastersky said. Gill said the story defies the assumption that a story must choose between technical accuracy and emotion. “This manages both,” she said. “It’s an absorbing and emotional personal account, sensitively reported and embraces the fascinating detail of the science of CRISPR.” As CRISPR moved out of the lab and into clinical trials, Rob Stein said, he and his colleagues “were  fortunate to win the trust” of the first patient in the United States  with a genetic disorder  treated using CRISPR and to “exclusively tell this extraordinary woman’s inspiring story in real time.”