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.



Thu June 16, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Genome Maps Solve Medical Mystery For Calif. Twins

The Beery family in 2010 on a visit to Baylor.
Courtesy of Baylor College of Medicine

Ever since scientists began to sequence the entire genomes of individuals --beginning with those of Nobelist James Watson and scientific entrepreneur J. Craig Venter in 2007 — skeptics have wondered just how useful this elegant and expensive trick would become.

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Fri June 10, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Woman Mauled By Chimp Gets A New Face

Charla Nash prior to the injury.
Courtesy of Nash Family

This was almost one for the medical history books — a full face transplant and double hand transplant on the same patient.

Charla Nash, a Connecticut woman who lost her face and hands in early 2009 when she was attacked by an angry chimpanzee, is the patient.

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Thu June 9, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Critic Faults FDA For Tardy Warning On Simvastatin Risk

The fact that 80 daily milligrams of simvastatin (brand name Zocor) can cause serious muscle damage has been known for years. So why did it take the Food and Drug Administration so long to tell doctors and patients they should avoid that dose?

The answer reveals a lot about the FDA's reluctance to restrict use of a popular drug — much less move to take it off the market — even when there are safer alternatives.

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Thu June 9, 2011
NPR Story

FDA Warns Against High Doses Of Cholesterol Drug

The Food and Drug Administration is warning that a popular cholesterol drug can cause muscle damage at high doses. The FDA is telling patients to see their doctor if they're taking the highest dose of Zocor, known generically as simvastatin.


Wed June 8, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Mixed Results On Foodborne Illness Cast Shadow On Daily Menu

On any given day, more than 130,000 Americans endure the miseries of what we often call food poisoning. It might be from salmonella in the salad, campylobacter in the chicken or vibrio in the shellfish.

The nation's record in preventing foodborne illnesses is decidedly mixed, according to the latest annual report card from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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