Jon Hamilton 2010 i
Doby Photography/NPR
Jon Hamilton 2010
Doby Photography/NPR

Jon Hamilton

Correspondent, Science Desk

Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. Currently he focuses on neuroscience, health risks, and extreme weather.

Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Hamilton was part of NPR's team of science reporters and editors who went to Japan to cover the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Hamilton contributed several pieces to the Science Desk series "The Human Edge," which looked at what makes people the most versatile and powerful species on Earth. His reporting explained how humans use stories, how the highly evolved human brain is made from primitive parts, and what autism reveals about humans social brains.

In 2009, Hamilton received the Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award for his piece on the neuroscience behind treating autism.

Before joining NPR in 1998, Hamilton was a media fellow with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation studying health policy issues. He reported on states that have improved their Medicaid programs for the poor by enrolling beneficiaries in private HMOs.

From 1995-1997, Hamilton wrote on health and medical topics as a freelance writer, after having been a medical reporter for both The Commercial Appeal and Physician's Weekly.

Hamilton graduated with honors from Oberlin College in Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. As a student, he was the editor of the Oberlin Review student newspaper. He earned his master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, where he graduated with honors During his time at Columbia, Hamilton was awarded the Baker Prize for magazine writing and earned a Sherwood traveling fellowship.

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Jeffrey Iliff (left), a brain scientist at Oregon Health & Science University, has been studying toxin removal in the brains of mice. He'll work with Bill Rooney, director of the university's Advanced Imaging Research Center, to enroll people in a similar study in 2016. Courtesy of Oregon Health & Science University hide caption

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Brain imaging experiments found patterns associated with attention span. iStockphoto hide caption

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An image from the Allen Institute's Brain Explorer shows gene expression across the human brain. Courtesy of Allen Institute For Brain Science hide caption

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TongRo Images/Corbis

Neuroscientist Takashi Kitamura works in the lab of Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One of their recent projects helped identify a brain circuit involved in processing the "where" and "when" of memory. "Ocean cells" (red) and "island cells" (blue) play key roles. Takashi Kitamura/MIT hide caption

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Researchers have used MRI scanners to learn that preemies are born with weak connections in some critical brain networks. iStockphoto hide caption

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Alan Hoffman, shown with his wife, Nancy, at their home in Dumfries, Va., found that his Parkinson's symptoms improved when he took a cancer drug. Claire Harbage for NPR hide caption

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Stefano Bianchetti/Corbis

Rough night? Depending on specific tweaks to their genes, some fruit flies have trouble falling asleep, and others can't stay asleep. Getting too little shut-eye hurts their memory. David M. Phillips/Science Source hide caption

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Drawn Ideas/Ikon Images/Corbis

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