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.

[+] read more[-] less

Months after a concussion or other traumatic brain injury, you may sleep more hours, but the sleep isn't restorative, a study suggests. iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption iStockphoto
A Concussion Can Lead To Sleep Problems That Last For Years
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/475599849/475923659" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
parema/Getty Images
Half Your Brain Stands Guard When Sleeping In A New Place
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474691141/475161635" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Ian Burkhart prepares for a training session in Columbus, Ohio. To move muscles in Burkhart's hand, the system relies on electrodes implanted in his brain, a computer interface attached to his skull, and electrical stimulators wrapped around his forearm. Lee Powell/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Lee Powell/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Technology Helps A Paralyzed Man Transform Thought Into Movement
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473821367/474120958" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Paul Hornback was a senior engineer and analyst for the U.S. Army when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease six years ago at age 55. His wife, Sarah, had to retire 18 months ago to care for him full time. Courtesy of the Hornbeck family hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the Hornbeck family
Big Financial Costs Are Part Of Alzheimer's Toll On Families
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/472295791/472365335" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

I know the way to Khan's place. The Kobal Collection hide caption

toggle caption The Kobal Collection
Beam Me Up, Scotty? Turns Out Your Brain Is Ready For Teleportation
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/468110269/468149490" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Emotion seemed to fuel plenty of sighs by Humphrey Bogart's character Rick (right) in the 1942 film classic Casablanca, and even Rick's good friend Sam, played by actor Dooley Wilson, couldn't console him. Archive Photos/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Archive Photos/Getty Images

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

toggle caption Courtesy of Oregon Health & Science University
Lack Of Deep Sleep May Set The Stage For Alzheimer's
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/460620606/461878759" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption iStockphoto
A Peek At Brain Connections May Reveal Attention Deficits
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/457139705/457139706" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption Courtesy of Allen Institute For Brain Science
A Genetic Map Hints At What Makes A Brain Human
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/456197216/456254075" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
TongRo Images/Corbis
The Brain's GPS May Also Help Us Map Our Memories
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/454651329/454692356" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption Takashi Kitamura/MIT
30,000 Brain Researchers Meld Minds At Science's Hottest Hangout
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/450847067/450937923" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption iStockphoto
Weak Brain Connections May Link Premature Birth And Later Disorders
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/450012150/450030415" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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

toggle caption Claire Harbage for NPR
Can A Cancer Drug Reverse Parkinson's Disease And Dementia?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/448323916/449862200" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Trina Dalziel/Ikon Images/Corbis
Studies May Overstate The Benefits of Talk Therapy For Depression
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/444789771/444790906" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript