Scott Hensley Scott Hensley edits stories about health, biomedical research and pharmaceuticals for NPR's Science desk.
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Scott Hensley

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Scott Hensley headshot
Heather Won Tesoriero/NPR

Scott Hensley

Senior Health Editor, Science Desk

Scott Hensley edits stories about health, biomedical research and pharmaceuticals for NPR's Science desk. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has led the desk's reporting on the development of vaccines against the coronavirus.

Hensley has worked on award-winning investigations in collaboration with journalistic partners.

He was the lead NPR editor on an investigation with the Center for Public Integrity in 2018 that exposed drug industry influence on the choices of preferred medicines by Medicaid programs. The work won the 2019 Gerald Loeb Award for audio reporting.

In 2017, Hensley was the lead NPR editor on an investigation with Kaiser Health News that showed how the pharmaceutical industry exploits government incentives intended to encourage the development of treatments for rare diseases. The stories won the 2019 digital award from the National Institute for Health Care Management.

Hensley has been editing in his current role since 2019. He joined NPR in 2009 to launch Shots, a blog that expanded to become a digital destination for NPR health coverage.

Before NPR, Hensley was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal. He was the founding editor of The Wall Street Journal Health Blog, which focused on the intersection of health and business. As a reporter, he covered the drug industry and the Human Genome Project.

Hensley served on the board of the Association of Health Care Journalists from 2012 to 2020.

He has a bachelor's degree in natural sciences from Johns Hopkins University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University.

Before becoming a journalist, Hensley worked in the medical device industry. He remains, now and forever, a lover of Dobermans, lacrosse and Callinectes sapidus.

Story Archive

A child receives the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Fairfax County Government Center in Annandale, Va., in November 2021. A committee of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration recommended Wednesday that the agency expand authorization of COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as 6-months-old. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Advisers to the FDA back COVID vaccines for the youngest children

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Dr. Stephaun Wallace, who leads the global external relations strategies for the COVID-19 Prevention Network at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, receives his second injection from Dr. Tia Babu during the Novavax vaccine phase 3 clinical trial in February 2021. Karen Ducey/Getty Images hide caption

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Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Advisers to the FDA back Novavax COVID vaccine

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A pop-up clinic inside Los Angeles International Airport offered free vaccinations and boosters for holiday travelers last December. A new round of vaccinations may be needed before next winter. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Advisers to FDA weigh in on updated COVID boosters for the fall

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A medical worker prepares the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine booster in Hartford, Connecticut, in January. Joseph Prezioso /AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Joseph Prezioso /AFP via Getty Images

A nurse practitioner fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Beaumont Health offices in Southfield, Mich., on Nov. 5. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

Doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are stacked in boxes at the McKesson facility in Shepherdsville, Ky., on March 1. Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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Pool/Getty Images

A COVID-19 pop-up testing site stands on a Manhattan street in October in New York City. On Tuesday, Pfizer released promising data about a pill to treat COVID-19. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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A COVID-19 antiviral pill called molnupiravir from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics is being considered by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in the coronavirus pandemic. Merck & Co Inc./Handout via Reuters hide caption

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Merck & Co Inc./Handout via Reuters

Safeway pharmacist Shahrzad Khoobyari administers a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot into the arm of Norman Solomon in San Rafael, Calif., in October. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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A nurse draw a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine dose from a vial at the Cameron Grove Community Center in Bowie, Md., in late March. Moderna says study data supports use of a half-dose of the vaccine in children 6 to 11. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Pharmacist LaChandra McGowan prepares a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic operated by DePaul Community Health in New Orleans in August. Soon, children ages 5 to 11 could be eligible for Pfizer shots. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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Mario Tama/Getty Images