Pam Belluck

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Pam Belluck, an American journalist and author, is a health and science writer for The New York Times and author of the acclaimed nonfiction book Island Practice, which is in development for a television series.

She was a member of The New York Times reporting team that received the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for coverage of the 2014 Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.[1] Team members named by The Times were Belluck, Helene Cooper, Sheri Fink, Adam Nossiter, Norimitsu Onishi, Kevin Sack, and Ben C. Solomon.[2]

New York Times[edit]

Belluck has been a staff writer for The Times since 1995; she joined the science and health staff of The Times in 2009 after more than a decade as a national bureau chief, leading the paper's Midwest and New England bureaus. She has covered important breaking news stories, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the crash of TWA Flight 800, the Columbine high school shooting, and the start of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. She has investigated problems with food safety, public housing, and health care; produced in-depth stories on Alzheimer's, postpartum depression, and end-of-life decisions; reported from places as diverse as Colombia and South Korea; and written about such subjects as cattle rustling, floating islands, and the place with the longest name in America: Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.

She currently writes mostly about health and medical subjects, including issues related to the brain, mental health, and reproductive health. Other science stories include a piece on a lost cat that managed to make a 200-mile journey back home and an article explaining that women are often freezing at work because thermostats have historically been set to accommodate men. Belluck also contributes to multimedia, video and podcast projects for The New York Times. Stories by Belluck and colleague Gina Kolata were published in the e-book Alzheimer’s: Unlocking the Secrets. She began at The Times as the Queens bureau chief and was briefly a metropolitan education reporter.

Island Practice[edit]

Belluck is the author of the non-fiction book Island Practice, published in June 2012 by PublicAffairs.[3] The book is a true tale about a colorful and contrarian doctor on Nantucket who has performed surgery with scalpels he carved from obsidian, made house calls to a hermit who lived in an underground house and a vine igloo, treated patients ranging from Kennedy relatives to a sheep with a prolapsed uterus, and diagnosed everything from tularemia to toe-tourniquet syndrome. In July 2012, Imagine Entertainment optioned the book to develop a TV series with 20th Century Fox Television, and in August 2012 the medical drama was bought by CBS.[4] In 2014, the book was optioned for television by Original Film and CBS.


Before joining the Times, Belluck was a staff writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and a freelance writer for The San Francisco Chronicle. In California, she served as Southeast Asia correspondent, based in Manila and reporting from China, Burma, Thailand, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

She was part of a team of reporters at The Atlanta-Journal Constitution whose work was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for general news, and part of a team of reporters at "The Philadelphia Inquirer" whose work was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for general news.

One of her Times articles, on fish shooting in Vermont, was chosen for the anthology The Best American Sports Writing 2005. Another article, on scientists who study their own children, was selected for The Best American Science Writing 2010.

She was chosen to be a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in 2014, and is a member of the TEDMED Editorial Advisory Board.


Belluck is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a minor in East Asian studies. She was a Fulbright Scholar in the Philippines, a Case Media Fellow at Indiana University, and she won a Knight Journalism Fellowship to spend the 2007-08 academic year at Harvard and MIT.

Personal life[edit]

She is married to investigative reporter and author Bill Dedman. Belluck is also a jazz flutist and performs regularly in New York City with the jazz group Equilibrium.

External links[edit]

  • Pam Belluck archive, The New York Times
  • [1], Pulitzer Prize-winning articles on Ebola
  • [2], "Island Practice"
  • [3], "Current Biography, Pam Belluck, 2012