Jon Hamilton Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk.
Jon Hamilton 2010
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Jon Hamilton

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 and health risks.

In 2014, Hamilton went to Liberia as part of the NPR team that covered Ebola. The team received a Peabody Award for its coverage.

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 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.

Story Archive

Medicare considers covering expensive Alzheimer's drug for those in clinical trials

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A newborn lies in the maternity ward of the Lens hospital, northern France. A study of crying mice could help explain some building blocks of human infant cries and adult speech. Philippe Huguen/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Philippe Huguen/AFP via Getty Images

What crying baby mice could teach us about human speech

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When Dr. Tiffany M. Osborn received her COVID-19 vaccination shortly after vaccines became available in late 2020, she felt hopeful about the pandemic's trajectory. A year later, she's sad and frustrated to see so many COVID patients in the ICU. Matt Miller / Washington University School of Medicine hide caption

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Matt Miller / Washington University School of Medicine

ICU teams report fatigue and frustration as they brace for omicron surge

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Shell neurons (green) project to the breathing center and core neurons (red) project to the pain/emotion center. Brain scientists have found the two are linked, shedding new light on opioid overdoses Salk Institute hide caption

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Salk Institute

A brain circuit linking pain and breathing may offer a path to prevent opioid deaths

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Studies into how pain and breathing are connected could lead to safer pain drugs

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COVID can cause long-term injuries to the brain. Here's what scientists have learned

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Amyloid plaques are characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease. The new drug Aduhelm is able to remove this sticky substance that builds up in the brains of patients with the disease, but many doctors are still skeptical of how well it really works. Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Libra via Getty Images hide caption

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Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Libra via Getty Images

Cost and controversy are limiting use of new Alzheimer's drug

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Researchers are studying athletes and military personnel to learn more about how a concussion can affect the brain's ability to understand sound. Callista Images/Image Source/Getty Images hide caption

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Callista Images/Image Source/Getty Images

After a concussion, the brain may no longer make sense of sounds

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Scan Of The Brain Of A Patient Affected By Alzheimer's Disease Axial Section. The Food and Drug Administration approved aducanamab, the first drug to affect the underlying disease processes associated with Alzheimer's in June. BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty hide caption

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BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty

Why Aduhelm, a new Alzheimer's treatment, isn't reaching many patients

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Concussions don't necessarily affect ears — but they can affect the ability to hear

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Sake, a three year old Bonobo at the Lola's Sanctuary. Ley Uwera for NPR hide caption

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Ley Uwera for NPR

Bonobos and the evolution of nice

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Scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science uncovered differences among human brain cells (left) those of the marmoset monkey (middle) and mouse in a brain region that controls movement, the primary motor cortex. Allen Institute for Brain Science hide caption

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Allen Institute for Brain Science

New brain maps could help the search for Alzheimer's treatments

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Nobel Prize awarded to U.S. scientists for research on how we sense of heat and touch

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