Richard Knox

Since he joined NPR in 2000, Knox has covered a broad range of issues and events in public health, medicine, and science. His reports can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, and newscasts.

Among other things, Knox's NPR reports have examined the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa, North America, and the Caribbean; anthrax terrorism; smallpox and other bioterrorism preparedness issues; the rising cost of medical care; early detection of lung cancer; community caregiving; music and the brain; and the SARS epidemic.

Before joining NPR, Knox covered medicine and health for The Boston Globe. His award-winning 1995 articles on medical errors are considered landmarks in the national movement to prevent medical mistakes. Knox is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Columbia University. He has held yearlong fellowships at Stanford and Harvard Universities, and is the author of a 1993 book on Germany's health care system.

He and his wife Jean, an editor, live in Boston. They have two daughters.


Shots - Health Blog
4:46 pm
Tue July 12, 2011

Super-Resistant Gonorrhea Strain Found In Japan

Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea light up this microscopic view.

The emergence of a strain of gonorrhea that can thwart the last antibiotic effective in treating the common sexually transmitted disease was bound to happen, experts say.

The new, super-resistant strain is called H041, and so far, only a handful of cases are known in Japan. But don't count on it staying that way. Experience has shown that once a resistant strain of gonorrhea appears, it steadily displaces those that can be killed with antibiotics.

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Science And Medicine
5:26 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

A Prenatal Surgery For Spina Bifida Comes Of Age

Drs. Lee Sutton and Scott Adzick perform prenatal surgery on Sarah White's fetus. The fetus has spina bifida — a hole in the lower back that exposes the spinal cord.
Jane Greenhalgh NPR

When she was 19 weeks pregnant, Sarah White went for a routine ultrasound and got a shock.

"I could tell that something was wrong because the ultrasound tech got real quiet," White says.

White's male fetus had spina bifida — a hole in his lower back that exposed the vulnerable spinal cord.

"When they said, 'Your baby has spina bifida,' I knew it wasn't good," says Joe Hensley, White's husband. "But I didn't have a sense of what was involved."

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Shots - Health Blog
12:59 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

Cancer Patient Gets First Totally Artificial Windpipe

Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, of Karolinska University Hospital, implants a synthetic windpipe.
Karolinska Institute

In a milestone for the fast-evolving field of tissue engineering, a 36-year-old geology student from Africa is breathing through a synthetic windpipe created in a laboratory from plastic and his own bone marrow cells.

Andemarian Teklesenbet Beyene was discharged today from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, one day short of a month since he had his cancerous windpipe replaced with the custom-made spare part.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:16 pm
Tue July 5, 2011

Colorectal Cancer Deaths Declining, But Millions Still Aren't Getting Screened

Katie Couric at the "Make That Call" For Colon Cancer Screening campaign launch in New York in March.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is taking a page from TV anchor Katie Couric by going public about colonoscopy.

Three years ago Couric, whose husband died of colon cancer, had her colonoscopy on camera as a way of encouraging others to have one too. It was so effective that epidemiologists named the resulting increase in colonoscopy tests "the Couric effect."

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Shots - Health Blog
10:36 am
Sat July 2, 2011

Harvard Punishes 3 Psychiatrists Over Undisclosed Industry Pay

Child psychiatrist Charles Biederman, of Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Massachusetts General Hospital

Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have disciplined three faculty members in a long-running conflict-of-interest case that became a prime exhibit in the debate over the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2010.

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