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.



Tue June 7, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

U.S. Vulnerable To E. Coli Outbreak Like The One In Europe

A closeup view of the bacterium behind the foodborne disease outbreak centered in Germany.
Manfred Rohde Getty Images

Dr. Christopher Braden, the chief of food- and waterborne diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doesn't expect the Escherichia coli bug causing serious illness in northern Europe to leapfrog the Atlantic anytime soon.

Still, Braden tells Shots, "I am concerned about something similar that could happen in the United States."

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Thu June 2, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Why Making A Safer Birth Control Pill Is So Hard

It's a quest that never seems to end — the search for a safer birth control pill.

Some thought it might be at hand almost a decade ago when a new generation of oral contraceptives came on the market. They contained a hormone called drospirenone, which some thought would be less likely to cause dangerous blood clots.

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Tue May 31, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Doubts Rise Over Virus As Cause Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

XMRV, a mouse virus, may be an artifact of laboratory experiments rather than the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Whittemore Peterson Institute

Two new studies may not be the final nails in the coffin of the hypothesis that a mouse retrovirus called XMRV causes chronic fatigue syndrome. But the hammering is certainly getting louder.

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Mon May 23, 2011
Your Health

Doctors Fret Over Rise In Prostate Biopsy Infections

Chicago attorney Tom Hayward suffered a raging infection caused by bacteria present in his gut before a prostate biopsy. He had to be hospitalized, but has since recovered.
Icoi Johnson for NPR

Well over a million U.S. men are thought to get prostate biopsies every year – a test that involves firing needles into a man's prostate gland from a probe stuck into his backside.

For the vast majority the test isn't fun, but it's not dangerous.

But specialists are worrying about an increasing risk of complications from prostate biopsy, especially hard-to-treat bloodstream infections that can send men to the ICU and require weeks of heavy-duty antibiotic treatment.

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Wed May 18, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Coffee Lowers Risk Of Deadliest Prostate Cancer

A study finds that drinking at least six cups a day of coffee reduces the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 60 percent.
Francois Guillot AFP/Getty Images

For a long time scientists have wondered whether coffee might lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Previous studies have been relatively small and have shown mixed results.

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