2016 Inaugural Biedler Prize Recipients
Todd Ackerman is a reporter for the Houston Chronicle, where he has covered medicine the past 15 years. He has particularly focused on cancer, covering scandal at Texas' state cancer agency, access issues in the Texas Medical Center and cutting-edge research at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine. Upon joining the Chronicle in 1990, he initially covered higher education, then science. Ackerman previously worked at the Raleigh News & Observer, the National Catholic Register, the Los Angeles Downtown News, Intro Magazine and the San Clemente Sun-Post. He graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a bachelors' degree in political science.
"The Death of Patient Zero"
Tom Junod has been a writer-at-large for Esquire magazine since 1997. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Awards 11 times, and has won twice. He has also won a James Beard Award for essay writing, and on the occasion of Esquire's 75th anniversary, his 2003 story about 9/11, "The Falling Man," was selected as one of the seven best articles in the history of the magazine. His work has been widely anthologized in collections celebrating the Best American Magazine Writing, the Best American Sports Writing, the Best American Political Writing, the Best American Crime Writing, and, most recently, the Best American Food Writing. A graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, he lives in Marietta, Georgia, with his wife and daughter, and sings in a band called Cousin Billy.
Debbie Galant and Noah Levinson
"The Chemo Files Episode 6: Second Opinions"
Debbie Galant is host and co-producer of The Chemo Files, a podcast about having breast cancer. She is also the publisher of MidcenturyModernMag.com, a magazine about generational identity and what it means for baby boomers to grow old. Until recently, she was associate director for the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. Before that, she founded and ran one of the first hyper-local news sites in the nation, wrote the Jersey column for The New York Times, and published three novels.
Noah Levinson conceived of, co-produced, and mixed The Chemo Files, a podcast about his mother's battle with breast cancer. He is a 2014 graduate of Hamilton College, where he majored in neuroscience, and has worked in a community serving adults with special needs. He looks forward to a career in media.
"Cancer in Northeast Ohio"
Kay Colby is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning journalist who logs over 30 years in broadcasting and currently serves as health producer for ideastream, Cleveland's PBS/NPR station. Prior to joining ideastream, Colby ran PHTV Inc., a production company that received five grants from the National Cancer Institute to develop video/television outreach campaigns for low-income African-Americans and Hispanics. Colby's NIH-funded research led to the creation of the Urban Cancer Project and a national model to address health disparities; both were presented at the 2003 annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus. Colby specialized in health/medical production while working for Medstar Television, where she produced several episodes of Forensic Files currently on HLN and a daily health magazine show for the Discovery Channel. She launched her broadcast career as a reporter for various NBC affiliates across the country.