Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Thomas Levenson, associate professor of science writing at MIT, has won the inaugural Walter P. Kistler Science Documentary Film Award for his work on the NOVA miniseries "Origins."
The award, established by the Foundation for the Future, recognizes producers of documentary films that make important contributions to the public's understanding of sciences subjects, especially those that will shape the long-term future of humanity.
Levenson was executive producer of the "Origins" miniseries and wrote, produced and directed part four of the series, "Back to the Beginning." The series depicts four areas of cosmic evolution: the formation of the Earth and planets, the rise of life, the search for extraterrestrial life forms and the beginning of the universe.
"Levenson has created, in this dramatic, four-part production, an extraordinary look at what science now knows about the cosmic journey--as far back in time as we can go and as far out in the universe," said Sesh Velamoor, deputy director for programs for the Foundation for the Future.
The Walter P. Kistler Science Documentary Film Award, which will be awarded annually, includes a cash prize of $10,000 and a certificate. It is named for the originator of the award program and benefactor of the Foundation for the Future.