The $3 Million Research Breakdown
Single-Topic News (Medium Staff)

Entry Credit

  • ProPublica Illinois, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Chicago Sun-Times
  • Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica Illinois
  • Logan Jaffe, ProPublica Illinois

About the Entry

A mysterious $3 million check to the National Institute of Mental Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago led reporters to uncover a doctor prescribing unsafe doses of lithium to children as part of a research experiment. The reporting led to the professor’s resignation and investigations from both the Illinois Medical Disciplinary Board and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Comments from the Judges

“This story is entirely original and gut-wrenching. The depth of the reporting and the trust built with Aline and Wilson make it deeply immersive.”

“This package was well reported, particularly given the challenges of dealing with an uncooperative university. The most compelling piece was the journal detailing Wilson’s case. It put a human face on who these test subjects were and what was at stake.”