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

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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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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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Win McNamee/Getty Images

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

A health care worker prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a clinic held at the Watts Juneteenth Street Fair in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Nurse Christina Garibay administers Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine to a man at a community outreach event in Los Angeles in August. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Janet Gerber, a health department worker in Louisville, Ky., processes boxes containing vials of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine in March. Jon Cherry/Getty Images hide caption

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Jon Cherry/Getty Images

A nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a San Antonio senior center in March. A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will meet Thursday to review Moderna's booster shot. Sergio Flores/Getty Images hide caption

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Sergio Flores/Getty Images

A health care worker prepares third doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for a senior living facility in Worcester, Pa., in late August. Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A health care worker administers a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a senior living facility in Worcester, Pa., in August. Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A nurse is handed a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine before administering it to a college student during a mobile vaccination clinic at California State University, Long Beach on Aug. 11. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID Vaccine Gets Full Approval From The FDA

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Dr. William Burke goes over a PET brain scan in 2018 at Banner Alzheimer's Institute in Phoenix. The drug company Biogen has received federal approval for a medicine to treat early Alzheimer's disease. Matt York/AP hide caption

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Matt York/AP

The FDA Has Approved A New Alzheimer's Drug — Here's Why That's Controversial

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