UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media
Cancer Prevention and Control
Area of Interest
My research interests boil down to a single question: How can we most effectively use communication to change behavior and thereby improve the health of individuals and populations? This question turns out to be highly complex, and demands the careful study of message source, content, design, channel, and context. Answering this question requires the use of several methodologies, including qualitative methods such as interviews and focus groups and quantitative methods such as surveys and experiments. In efforts to cumulative knowledge in the field, I have also been a prolific user of meta-analysis, a quantitative research technique for synthesizing entire literatures on a given topic. My goal is to advance and build communication science, as well as to contribute to and shape public policy where it intersects with communication and health.
My work spans several topical areas of the health communication field. In the early days of my career I was focused on HIV/STD prevention, while now I mostly focus on cancer communication and prevention, especially tobacco prevention and control.
Awards and Honors
- 2018 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher, Social Sciences
- 2017 American Public Health Association Mayhew Derryberry Research Award
- 2016 Inaugural Abby Prestin Lecture, FDA Center for Tobacco Products
- 2016 NCA Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award
- 2016 Lewis Donohew Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award
- 2014 Thomas Reuters Highly Cited Researcher, Social Sciences
- 2005 Faculty Community Service Award, College of Communications and Information Studies, University of Kentucky
- 2005 Faculty Research Excellence Award, College of Communications and Information Studies, University of Kentucky
- 2004-2009 National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Program Award
- 2001 Peter Merenda Prize in Statistics and Research Methodology