From the Nominator
"Stanford University Professor of Neurology Michelle Monje has devoted her life to finding a cure for the worst cancer you've probably never heard of: diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)—fatal for most pediatric patients within one year of diagnosis. To do so, Monje has invented a new field: cancer neuroscience. "Brains and Heart" tells the story of how Monje was captivated by her first patient with DIPG and gives insight into her groundbreaking interdisciplinary work. It also shares she's a parent of five who still finds time to bake bread for friends—without falling into sexist tropes about working women. It is pitch-perfect on two levels: it smoothly translates complex science for readers without sacrificing medical accuracy, and it keeps a woman with heart at the heart of the story. Online readers spent 17 minutes with the story, and it received an extraordinary level of appreciative anecdotal feedback, which we've included below.
"What a terrific, inspirational story. I couldn’t stop reading. Everyone involved is remarkable. I needed this reminder of the world of hope that parallels that venality and madness that dominates the news."
"Riveting, painful to read at times, but ultimately very uplifting."
"I simply want to convey a strong, 'You GO, girl!' to Dr. Michelle Monje for surviving and thriving despite the jaw-dropping misogyny she encountered in her high school biology class."
"Your use of tension preserves the reader's interest so carefully until the last paragraph. Such a sensitively written history about all that professional bio-med research.""
From the Judges
The article was well organized, great writing, and had thoughtful connections. The fun brain and heart graphics were attractive without overwhelming.