Rhitu Chatterjee Rhitu Chatterjee is a reporter and editor on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports the latest news and feature stories on science, health, and the environment.
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Rhitu Chatterjee

Rhitu Chatterjee

Reporter/Editor, Science Desk

Rhitu Chatterjee is a reporter and editor on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports the latest news and feature stories on science, health, and the environment. She also generates ideas for series or themes for the desk to explore, and periodically edits the science team on both radio and digital platforms.

In her role, Chatterjee has reported on the reasons behind a disturbing health statistic in America — the unusually high rate of infant death among African Americans. In her previous role as an editor for NPR's The Salt, she produced one of her favorite projects, a short online food video series called "Hot Pot: A Dish. A Memory," which featured dishes from a particular country as made by a person who grew up with the dish. The series was produced in collaboration with NPR's Goats & Soda blog.

Before coming to NPR, Chatterjee reported on current affairs from New Delhi for PRI's The World, and covered science and health news for Science Magazine. Before that, she was based in Boston as a science correspondent with PRI's The World. She has also worked as a freelancer and correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. She began her career covering environmental news and policy for Environmental Science & Technology.

Throughout her career, Chatterjee has reported on everything from basic scientific discoveries to issues at the intersection of science, society and culture. She has covered the legacy of the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, the world's largest industrial disaster. She has reported on a mysterious epidemic of chronic kidney disease in Sri Lanka and India. While in New Delhi, she also covered women's issues. Her reporting went beyond the breaking news headlines about sexual violence to document the underlying social pressures faced by Indian girls and women. She has done numerous stories on how a growing number of Indian women are fighting for better opportunities in education and in the workplace and trying to make the country a safer place for future generations of women.

She has won two reporting grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and was awarded a certificate of merit by the Gabriel Awards in 2014.

Chatterjee has mentored student fellows by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, as well as young journalists for the Society of Environmental Journalists' mentorship program. She's also taught science writing at the Santa Fe Science Writing Workshop.

She did her undergraduate work in Darjeeling, India. And she has two master's degrees—a master of science in biotechnology from Visva-Bharati in India, and a master of arts in journalism from the University of Missouri.

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Childhood infections may increase the risk of developing certain mental illnesses in childhood and adolescence. Kathleen Finlay/Getty Images/Image Source hide caption

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Kristen Philman first tried methamphetamine in her early 20s, as an alternative to heroin and other opioids. When she discovered she was pregnant, she says, it was a wake-up call, and she did what she needed to do to stop using all those drugs. Theo Stroomer for NPR hide caption

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Another Drug Crisis: Methamphetamine Use By Pregnant Women

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Migrant Kids Survive Hardship To Reunite With Parents. Then What?

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Mourners comfort each other Thursday during a vigil at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza for the victims of the mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images hide caption

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Another Mass Shooting? 'Compassion Fatigue' Is A Natural Reaction

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Stress, poverty and lack of health care can lead to premature birth. Rates remain stubbornly high in many states. inakiantonana/Getty Images hide caption

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Some apps, like CBT-I Coach, use proven scientific methods to help people manage their underlying sleep challenges. Mary Mathis/NPR hide caption

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Some Apps May Help Curb Insomnia, Others Just Put You To Sleep

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Study: Since The 1970s, Drug Overdoses Have Grown Exponentially

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Panel: Doctors Should Focus On Preventing Depression In Pregnant Women, New Moms

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New Study Sheds Light On Depression In Teens And Parents

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When a teen's symptoms of depression improve as a result of treatment, it's more likely that their parent's mood lifts, too, new research shows. Roy Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Treating Teen Depression Might Improve Mental Health Of Parents, Too

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Girard Children's Community Garden in Washington, D.C. was created on a vacant lot and is now a thriving community space for neighborhood kids, many of whom are from low-income communities of color. Pearl Mak/NPR hide caption

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Replacing Vacant Lots With Green Spaces Can Ease Depression In Urban Communities

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More Screen Time For Teens Linked To ADHD Symptoms

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Research shows that people taken to an emergency room after a suicide attempt are at high risk of another attempt in the next several months. But providing them with a simple "safety plan" before discharge reduced that risk by as much as 50 percent. FangXiaNuo/Getty Images hide caption

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