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

A controversial new drug for ALS that just received FDA approval could add months to patients' lives, but some scientists question whether it actually works. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

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Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

ALS drug's approval draws cheers from patients, questions from skeptics

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A drug based on LSD appears to treat depression in mice without the psychedelic trip

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The drugmaker Amylyx is asking the FDA to approve a new medication for ALS, a fatal neurodegenerative disease. It's possible the agency could greenlight the drug by the end of the month. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

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Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

FDA seems poised to approve a new drug for ALS, but does it work?

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Karen Douthitt (left) found she does not carry the rare genetic mutation for early-onset Alzheimer's dementia, but her older sister June Ward (right) does carry it. Juan Diego Reyes for NPR hide caption

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Juan Diego Reyes for NPR

Three Sisters And The Fight Against Alzheimer's Disease

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Encore: A new hard hat could help protect workers from on-the-job brain injuries

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Even though the sisters hope a successful drug treatment for their family's form of dementia will emerge, they're now planning for a future without one. "There's a kind of sorrow about Alzheimer's disease that, as strange as it seems, there's a comfort in being in the presence of people who understand it," Ward says. Juan Diego Reyes for NPR hide caption

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Juan Diego Reyes for NPR

With early Alzheimer's in the family, these sisters decided to test for the gene

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Workers typically rely on plastic hard hat styles designed in the 1960s. But newer technology does a better job at protecting brains, especially from oblique impact caused by falls. Al Bello/Getty Images hide caption

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Al Bello/Getty Images

How a new hard hat technology can protect workers better from concussion

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Ben Elliott gets barreled at the BSR Surf Resort, where artificial waves are attracting world-class talent. Rob Henson/BSR Surf Resort hide caption

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Rob Henson/BSR Surf Resort

Surf's Always Up — In Waco, Texas

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A family looks for answers into why so many of them develop Alzheimer's disease

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At an international meeting, Alzheimer's researchers are assessing what comes next

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Scientists say research into Alzheimer's needs to take a broader view of how the disease affects the brain — whether that's changes in the cortex or the role of inflammation. Matt York/AP hide caption

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Matt York/AP

Alzheimer's researchers are looking beyond plaques and tangles for new treatments

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Encore: Exotic dancers in Hollywood push for unionization

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Why don't woodpecker brains get damaged from pecking? They're tiny, scientists say

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Frank Stephens testifies at a Congressional hearing in 2017. Global Down Syndrome Foundation hide caption

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Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Scientists look to people with Down syndrome to test Alzheimer's drugs

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