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.

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Speech therapist David Romero uses software to compose words with Teodoro Leazma, who suffered COVID-19. Leazma recovered his mobility, but then realized the illness caused him to have dyslexia and other cognitive disorders. Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images hide caption

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How COVID-19 Affects The Brain

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SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, shown in red, have heavily infected a cell in this colorized scanning electron micrograph. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. NIAID/NIH/Flickr hide caption

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How COVID-19 Attacks The Brain And May Cause Lasting Damage

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New Study Shows What Causes Brain Damage In COVID-19 Patients

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Root extracts from the African shrub iboga have long been used in traditional healing rituals and more recently as an experimental treatment for depression and to reduce drug cravings in addiction. Scientists now are working on a version of the extract that doesn't cause heart attacks or hallucinations as side effects. Steeve Jordan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Steeve Jordan/AFP via Getty Images

Progress Toward A Safer Psychedelic Drug To Treat Depression And Addiction

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A healthcare worker processes people in line at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site on Nov. 19, in Houston. Texas is rushing thousands of additional medical staff to overworked hospitals as the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients increases. David J. Phillip/AP hide caption

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David J. Phillip/AP

Sam Berns and Audrey Gordon, executive director of The Progeria Research Foundation and Berns's aunt, attend The New York Premiere Of HBO's "Life According To Sam" on October 8, 2013 in New York City. Thos Robinson/Getty Images for HBO hide caption

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Thos Robinson/Getty Images for HBO

FDA Approves First Drug For A Rapid Aging Disorder In Children

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FDA Approves First Drug For Rare, Rapid-Aging Genetic Disorder

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Researchers are learning that there is a significant relationship between sleep and dementia, particularly Alzheimer's disease. Basak Gurbuz Derman/Getty Images hide caption

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Deep Sleep Protects Against Alzheimer's, Growing Evidence Shows

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Scientists Discover A Link Between Lack Of Deep Sleep And Alzheimer's Disease

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FDA Advisory Panel Rejects Controversial Alzheimer's Drug

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The hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin produced in some mushrooms helped people with major depression in a study that also included supportive psychotherapy. Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images hide caption

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Rigorous Study Backs A Psychedelic Treatment For Major Depression

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Learning to ride a bike can lead to memorable tumbles. It's the brain's "time cells," scientists now say, that help organize and seal those experiences in our minds. Peter Cade/Getty Images hide caption

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Why Some Memories Seem Like Movies: 'Time Cells' Discovered In Human Brains

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During deep sleep, waves of cerebrospinal fluid (blue) coincide with temporary decreases in blood flow (red). Less blood in the brain means more room for the fluid to carry away toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer's disease. Fultz et al. 2019 hide caption

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Fultz et al. 2019

One More Step Toward Solving The Sleep & Alzheimer's Puzzle

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Scientists Find Cells In The Human Brain Responsible For Episodic Memory

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Recruiting patients for medical studies has been challenging during the pandemic, especially older people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Getty Images hide caption

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A Big Alzheimer's Drug Study Is Proceeding Cautiously Despite The Pandemic

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