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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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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Renowned British neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, pictured in London in 1983, died Sunday of cancer. He was 82. United News/Popperfoto/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Arnott, of Cambridge, Mass., says he used to have trouble staying awake on long drives. Sleep specialists discovered he has obstructive sleep apnea, though not for the most common reasons — he isn't overweight, and doesn't smoke or take sedatives. M. Scott Brauer for NPR hide caption

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A nanosecond pulsed laser beam starts the photoacoustic imaging process. Geoff Story/Courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis hide caption

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Giedre (left) and Tal Cohen in March 2013, while Giedre was still healthy. Since then, she's begun having symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. In Giedre's case, the illness is tied to a rare genetic mutation she inherited. Courtesy of Tal Cohen hide caption

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Women with mild cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to Alzheimer's, tend to decline faster than men. Lizzie Roberts/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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In this colorized image of a brain cell from a person with Alzheimer's, the red tangle in the yellow cell body is a toxic tangle of misfolded "tau" proteins, adjacent to the cell's green nucleus. Thomas Deerinck/NCMIR/Science Source hide caption

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"Shout, shout, let it all out. These are the things I can do without." Simone Golob/Corbis hide caption

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