Jon Hamilton

Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. Currently he focuses on neuroscience, health risks, and extreme weather.

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 degree 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.

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3:25pm

Mon May 5, 2014
Science

Max Planck Goes To Florida, Invites Brain Scientists To Join

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:35 pm

Germany's famous Max Planck Society has opened a brain research institute in Jupiter, Fla. It's another move in the international competition to attract the best brain researchers.

3:36pm

Wed April 23, 2014
Shots - Health News

Education May Help Insulate The Brain Against Traumatic Injury

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:24 am

Proust and algebra may not sound like brain protection, but higher levels of education correlate with cognitive reserve.
iStockphoto

A little education goes a long way toward ensuring you'll recover from a serious traumatic brain injury. In fact, people with lots of education are seven times more likely than high school dropouts to have no measurable disability a year later.

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4:24pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Shots - Health News

One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:13 pm

The dream of epilepsy research, says neurobiologist Ivan Soltesz, is to stop seizures by manipulating only some brain cells, not all.
Steve Zylius UC Irvine Communications

In the early 1990s, a young brain researcher named Ivan Soltesz heard a story that would shape his career.

His adviser told him about a school for children whose epileptic seizures were so severe and frequent that they had to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. The only exception to the helmet rule was for students who received an award.

"The big deal for them is that they can take the helmet off while they're walking across the stage," Soltesz says. "And that thing struck me as just wrong."

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4:48pm

Mon April 14, 2014
Shots - Health News

Gene Linked To Alzheimer's Poses A Special Threat To Women

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 6:35 pm

Women make up nearly two-thirds of the people in the U.S. diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
iStockphoto

A gene associated with Alzheimer's disease appears especially dangerous to women and may be one reason that more women than men are diagnosed with the disease.

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4:46pm

Tue April 8, 2014
Shots - Health News

The Forgotten Childhood: Why Early Memories Fade

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 5:13 am

Francis Csedrik remembers details of being bonked hard on the head when he was 4, and having to go to the emergency room.
Meg Vogel NPR

Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.

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