Freelance writer Mark Witten has been awarded the Sanofi Pasteur Medal For Excellence In Health Research Journalism,by the organization Canadians for Health Research (CHR). It was for an article called "Drugs Made to Measure" published in the April 2011 issue of the late Homemakers magazine (closed at the end of last year). In addition to a plaque, Witten will receive a $2,500 bursary, presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Science Writers' Association, held in Windsor. Witten has twice before won the medal.
Writer Mark Witten offered a survey of the latest developments in this field [said a release], which is employing genetic tests to determine how doctors deal with breast cancer, how they prescribe drugs for heart disease or mental illness, and how blood transfusions are performed. His detailed and engaging account, “Drugs Made to Measure”, draws on the cases of patients who have been helped by this new approach....
“Personalized medicine is often discussed in abstract terms, which might lead people to expect too much or too little,” says CHR president, Patricia Guyda. “Witten has provided a significant public service by explaining it in clear, practical terms, so readers can understand what is actually a very exciting dimension of medical treatment.”
CHR, a nonprofit organization committed to promoting the stability and quality of Canadian health research, launched the Sanofi Pasteur Medal in 1995, and administers the selection process. The award is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Ltd., Canada’s premier vaccine company, a division of the global pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis Group.
(The winning article has also been nominated in the Service: Health and Family category of the National Magazine Awards, to be presented Thursday. Witten has previously won two gold and one silver medals from the NMAs and had written health features for a wide range of consumer magazines, including Toronto Life, Homemakers, More, Reader's Digest, The Walrus, Canadian Living and Today's Parent.)