Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Deseret News writer Lois M. Collins has received the prestigious DeBakey Award for journalism.
Lois has a gift for taking complicated information and helping readers connect with its relevance to their lives. —Tad Walch

Lois M. Collins, a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience with the Deseret News, is one of eight journalists nationally to receive the prestigious Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award from the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR).

The award is named for Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, the late renowned cardiac surgeon who was known as an innovator, educator and scientist. According to an FBR press release, the award is presented each year to recognize "outstanding journalism that highlights the role of humane animal research in recent medical discoveries and scientific breakthroughs."

In addition to Collins, others receiving DeBakey Awards during the organization's June 21 meetings include Jay Schadler, Jake Whitman, Jane E. Allen and Lana Zak, all of ABC News; Carrie Feibel of Houston Public Radio; Lee Bowman of Scripps Howard News Service; and Joseph Stromberg of the Smithsonian.

Collins is being honored for "Feeling better? Say thanks to the fruit fly, the zebra fish, the mouse," a story that explains the significant, life-giving role various creatures play in the search for cures to human disease.

Collins has made a career of writing about medical and scientific issues.

"Lois has a gift for taking complicated information and helping readers connect with its relevance to their lives," said Tad Walch, a national editor for the Deseret News. "Her stories are always accurate and precise, and written with warmth and humanity, which is why she continues to earn journalism awards from peers and foundations."

Which she does with some frequency. In addition to this year's DeBakey Award, Collins has twice received national Sigma Delta Chi awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. She has also received numerous local, regional and national awards, most recently from the Council on Contemporary Families for a story she co-wrote with Sara Lenz, "Losing Innocence: The Cost of Sexualizing Teens."

Lois and her husband, Beaux, live in Salt Lake City. They are parents of two daughters.