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

The way monkeys communicate could help explain how humans evolved to talk

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US Forces in Afghanistan work with a German Shepherd to inspect a vehicle for explosives. IEDs and other bombs led to brain injuries in service people but appear so far to not increase their risk of CTE. ROMEO GACAD / AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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ROMEO GACAD / AFP via Getty Images

CTE is rare in brains of deceased service members, study finds

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A drug for HIV appears to reverse a type of memory loss in mice

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Researcher Lee Fisher (left) is working to merge prosthetic limbs with the nervous system. Pat Bayne (right) says a prototype has partially restored her sense of touch: "I know there's no hand there, but I can feel it." T. Betler/UPMC/Pitt Health Sciences hide caption

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T. Betler/UPMC/Pitt Health Sciences

Researchers work to create a sense of touch in prosthetic limbs

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Scientists have discovered that a drug used to treat HIV helps restore a particular kind of memory loss in mice. The results hold promise for humans, too. ROBERT F. BUKATY/AP hide caption

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ROBERT F. BUKATY/AP

A drug for HIV appears to reverse a type of memory loss in mice

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An HIV drug appears to boost memory in mice, study shows

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The memory of aging mice improved when they received a substance found in the spinal fluid of young animals. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

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Robert F. Bukaty/AP

A substance found in young spinal fluid helps old mice remember

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Youthful spinal fluid could help treat Alzheimer's disease, study suggests

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David A. Northcott/Getty Images

Emotions — They're Not Just For Humans

Scientists have discovered the underpinnings of animal emotions. As NPR brain correspondent Jon Hamilton reports, the building blocks of emotions and of emotional disorders can be found across lots of animals. That discovery is helping scientists understand human emotions like fear, anger — and even joy.

Emotions — They're Not Just For Humans

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New research finds that previous studies of mental illness using brain scans may be too small for the results to be reliable. Andrew Brookes/Getty Images/Image Source hide caption

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Andrew Brookes/Getty Images/Image Source

Brain scan studies need to get much bigger to offer insight into mental illness

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A lead COVID test investigator on how well at-home rapid tests work for BA.2

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Encore: Concussions don't necessarily hurt your ears, but they can hurt your hearing

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Medicare has decided to sharply limit coverage of Aduhelm, a new Alzheimer drug

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Scientists have analyzed a huge number of brain scans to learn more about how the brain develops, from infancy all the way until the end of life. Keith Srakocic/AP hide caption

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Keith Srakocic/AP

Scans reveal the brain's early growth, late decline and surprising variability

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