UW-Madison: Graduate wins Pulitzer Prize

Contact: Greg Downey, 608-695-4310, gdowney@wisc.edu

MADISON – A University of Wisconsin-Madison alumna this week was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in journalism, for an explanatory report on an effort by doctors to diagnose a boy’s mystery illness.

Kathleen Gallagher was part of a team of two reporters and three visual journalists from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who won the award for a series of stories, photos, videos and graphics about Nicholas Volker, now 6, who has spent most of his life afflicted by an unknown condition that attacked his digestive system. The series chronicled the groundbreaking work by physicians at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin to analyze his DNA and identify his illness.

“The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel produced an outstanding multimedia series that fully embodies the best of explanatory journalism,” says Greg Downey, director of the UW-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication. “Kathleen’s reporting and writing provided great service to her audience and drew attention to an emerging and complex world of science and health. We’re proud of our many connections to outstanding journalism.”

The Pulitzer judges said the series was a “lucid examination of an epic effort to use genetic technology to save a 4-year-old boy imperiled by a mysterious disease, told with words, graphics, videos and other images.”

Gallagher graduated from UW-Madison in 1981 with a degree in journalism. She’s a business reporter for the Journal Sentinel who covers developments in Wisconsin’s life sciences and other emerging industries.

For information about the Pulitzer Prizes, visit http://www.pulitzer.org/.