Award-winning screenplay that chronicles the story of DES (diethylstilbestrol), a supposedly groundbreaking form of synthetic estrogen that instead became one of the most devastating medical disasters in history.
Caitlin McCarthy, Screenwriter
Caitlin McCarthy received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best graduate programs in the country. An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has written feature screenplays including: WONDER DRUG, a Featured Script on The Black List website and a Semifinalist in the Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting (one of only 151 entries to advance from the Quarterfinal Round, with 7,102 scripts entered); and RESISTANCE, a script accepted into the exclusive Squaw Valley Screenwriters Program, which is made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Caitlin is also partnering on writing/creating the TV series "Pass/Fail" with Jim Forbes, a multiple Emmy, ALMA, AP and Golden Mic award-winning writer, producer, correspondent, and narrator (most notably VH1's iconic "Behind The Music"); and writing/creating the TV series "Free Skate." Furthermore, Caitlin's TV spec scripts have won awards or advanced in prestigious competitions such as the Austin Film Festival; Final Draft Big Break; and Stage32. In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English teacher at an inner-city public high school. Prior to education, Caitlin worked in public relations, where she fostered relationships with the press and crafted messages for companies that were delivered worldwide.
Screenplay Scientific Advisor: P. Harry Jellinck obtained his undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1948 and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of London (1952 and 1954). As a graduate student for a Ph.D. in the 1950s, Jellinck worked directly under Sir Charles Dodds (creator of DES) at the Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry, Middlesex Hospital, London. After two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow (National Research Council) at McGill University and three years as a lecturer at two medical schools in London, Jellinck returned to Canada to join Dr. R.L. Noble at the newly established Cancer Research Centre, University of British Columbia. Jellinck was promoted to Full Professor before moving in 1967 to Queen’s University as Head of the Department of Biochemistry. He stepped down from this position in 1978 and became Emeritus in 1993. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Rockefeller University, since his first sabbatical in New York in 1978. Jellinck has published three textbooks, over 100 scientific papers, and is still active in research, albeit at a reduced pace.
Script Consultant: Sir Ralph Dodds – only son of professor Sir (Edward) Charles Dodds (creator of DES) – was born in March 1928 and died in May 2015. He went to school in London and, from 1941 to 1946, in Winchester. He had vivid memories of the buildup of American soldiers on every highway and byway in the months to 6 June 1944 – when, almost overnight, they vanished – to Normandy. Conscripted into the army in May 1946, he went on to Sandhurst (Britain’s West Point) and served as an officer in the Middle and Far East, Germany and England until he resigned his commission in 1958. Married to Marion in 1954, and with two daughters, Ralph worked as an Insurance Broker in the City of London until retirement in 1990. While living in London with Marion, they enjoyed the frequent company of their daughters and four grandchildren – all now grown up. It was only with Caitlin McCarthy’s interest and research for the film WONDER DRUG that Ralph recalled many small details from his childhood of the original people and places involved in the original research on Diethylstilbestrol (known in the UK as Stilbestrol).