Xiaoli Nan

Professor & Co-Director of Graduate Studies

Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Director, UMD Center for Health and Risk Communication

Phone: 301-405-0640
2102 Skinner Building
Professional Interests: 

Dr. Xiaoli Nan is a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and Professor of Communication Science at the University of Maryland-College Park, where she is the Director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication. A Co-Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication, Dr. Nan is an affiliate professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, a faculty associate of the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and a full member of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center's Population Science Program.

Dr. Nan’s research is broadly concerned with health and risk communication, focusing on a) the design of persuasive messages to influence health risk perceptions and behaviors and b) the role of traditional and emerging media (e.g., social media, mobile media, virtual reality) in promoting (and hindering) public health. Dr. Nan’s research addresses the basic processes of human judgment and decision making and the implications of these processes for effective health and risk communication. Dr. Nan’s interdisciplinary work tackles pressing public health challenges including cancer prevention, vaccination, food safety and nutrition, and climate change. At Maryland, Dr. Nan regularly teaches courses on health communication, persuasion and attitude change, media effects, and quantitative research methods.

Dr. Nan has published extensively in her areas of specialization with over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles. Dr. Nan’s work appears in top communication and interdisciplinary journals including Human Communication ResearchCommunication ResearchHealth CommunicationJournal of Health CommunicationJournalism and Mass Communication QuarterlyJournal of AdvertisingPsychology and MarketingMarketing TheoryHealth Education, and Vaccine.

Dr. Nan has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Homeland Security, totaling over $7.5 million. She has served as a PI on three NIH-funded projects on cancer communication strategies targeting under-served populations. Dr. Nan’s current funded research addresses public health messaging on HPV and COVID-19 vaccination.

Dr. Nan has been a senior editor for the journal Health Communication since 2018 and serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals including Human Communication ResearchCommunication Research, the Journal of Health Communication, and the Journal of Advertising. She was an elected member of the executive committee of the Communication Theory and Methodology Division of AEJMC and served on the research committee of the American Academy of Advertising. Dr. Nan previously served as the Vice-Chair and Chair of the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

Dr. Nan received the Mayhew Derryberry Award from the American Public Health Association in 2018 for outstanding contributions to health education research and theory. She was recently named a Lewis Donohew Outstanding Health Communication Scholar, conferred biennially by the Kentucky Conference on Health Communication.

For more information about Dr. Xiaoli Nan, visit www.xiaolinan.com.

Curriculum Vitae

Graduate Advising Philosophy

Representative publications:

Nan, X., #Wang, Y., & #Thier, K. (in press). Health misinformation. In T. Thompson & N. Harrington (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication.

Nan, X., Kim, J., Verrill, L., & Daily, K. (in press). Influence of risk severity and intentionality on perceptions of food contamination risks among pregnant women: An experimental investigation. Journal of Health Communication.

Nan, X., Daily, K., Richards, A., & Holt, C. (2019). Parental support for HPV vaccination mandates among African Americans: The impact of message framing and consideration of future consequences. Health Communication, 34, 1404-1412.

Nan, X. & Qin, Y. (2018). How thinking about the future affects our decisions in the present: Effects of time orientation and episodic future thinking on responses to health warning messages. Human Communication Research, 45, 148-168.

Nan, X., #Daily, K., & #Qin, Y. (2018). Relative persuasiveness of gain- vs. loss-framed messages: A review of theoretical perspectives and developing an integrative framework. Review of Communication, 18, 370-390.