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 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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A health care worker holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Klerksdorp Hospital in Klerksdorp, South Africa, on Feb. 18. PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images

A health care worker withdrew a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from a vial at the Klerksdorp Hospital in Klerksdorp, South Africa, on Feb. 18. Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

A health care worker looks away as she's immunized with Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at Klerksdorp Hospital in Klerksdorp, South Africa, on Feb. 18. Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

Pharmacy technician Sara Berech prepared a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in December for a clinical trial that includes Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora, Colo. Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Is 66% Effective In Preventing Moderate To Severe COVID-19

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Nurse Vash Deelchand inoculated Kate Bingham, chair of the U.K. government's vaccine task force, with a Novavax vaccine at the Royal Free Hospital in London in October. Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images hide caption

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Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Effective, But Less So Against Variant In South Africa

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A COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna is next in line with the Food and Drug Administration for possible authorization for emergency use during the pandemic. Bill Sikes/AP hide caption

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Bill Sikes/AP

A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration met Thursday to evaluate Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine and make recommendations on emergency use to the agency. A quick FDA decision is expected after the advisers' 17-4 vote. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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Jacquelyn Martin/AP