Xiaoli Nan

Professor, Director, UMD Center for Health and Risk Communication, & Co-Director of Graduate Studies

Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Phone: 301-405-0640
2130 Skinner Building
Professional Interests: 

Dr. Xiaoli Nan is an Associate Professor of Communication Science and the Director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at the University of Maryland. She is an affiliate faculty member of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center Population Science Program.  

Dr. Nan’s research is focused on health and risk communication. Specifically, her research investigates how to effectively communicate health risks (including environmental risks that pose significant health threat) to the general public and under-served populations to promote behavior change and informed decision making. Dr. Nan’s research addresses the basic processes of human judgment and decision making related to health risks and the implications of these processes for effective risk communication via traditional and emerging communication channels (e.g., social media, mobile communication, virtual reality). Dr. Nan’s work prioritizes several health domains including cancer control, vaccination, food safety and nutrition, and climate change. At Maryland, Dr. Nan teaches courses on health and risk communication, persuasion and attitude change, media effects, and quantitative research methods.

Dr. Nan has published extensively in her areas of specialization with over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. In total, she has authored or coauthored more than 70 refereed articles, book chapters, and refereed conference proceedings, in additional to over 80 refereed conference papers. Dr. Nan’s work appears in top communication and interdisciplinary journals including Human Communication Research, Communication Research, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Advertising, Psychology and Marketing, Marketing Theory, Health Education, and Vaccine.

Dr. Nan’s research program has been continuously supported by federal grants for over a decade. She has been 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 $5.5 million. Currently, she is leading a NIH-funded research project examining the role of self-affirmation in reducing defensive processing of graphic cigarette warning labels among African American smokers. She is also co-directing an interdisciplinary initiative funded by DOE’s ARPA-E to study the provision of personalized, mobile-based travel information to motivate energy-efficient travel behaviors.  

Dr. Nan currently sits on the editorial boards of flagship journals in communication including the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, and Communication Research. Additionally, she is serving or has served on the editorial boards of Health Communication, Communication Studies, Communication Quarterly, Journal of Advertising, and Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising. Dr. Nan 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.  

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

Curriculum Vitae

Graduate Advising Philosophy

Representative publications:

Nan, X. (in press). Influence of incidental discrete emotions on health risk perception and persuasion. Health Communication.

Nan, X., Futerfas, M., & Ma, Z. (in press). Role of narrative perspective and modality in the persuasiveness of public service advertisements promoting HPV vaccination. Health Communication.

Kim, J., & Nan, X. (in press). Temporal framing effects differ for narrative vs. non-narrative messages: The case of promoting HPV vaccination. Communication Research.

Nan, X., Verrill, L. & Kim, J. (2016). Mapping sources of food safety information for U.S. consumers: Findings from a national survey. Health Communication, 32, 356-365.

Nan, X., Madden, K., Richards, A., Holt, C., Wang, M., & Tracy, K. (2015). Message framing, perceived susceptibility, and intentions to vaccinate one’s child against HPV among African American parents. Health Communication, 31, 798-805.

Nan, X., Zhao, X., Yang, B., & Iles, I. (2015). Effectiveness of cigarette warning labels: Exploring the impact of graphics, message framing, and temporal framing. Health Communication, 30, 81-89.