Photo of center director Amanda YarnellAmanda Yarnell

Senior Director, Center for Health Communication

Amanda (she/her) joined Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2022 as Senior Director for its Center for Health Communication, where she is preparing public health leaders to credibly communicate health information in an increasingly fragmented world. In that work she leverages two decades of experience in science and health journalism, media product development, and audience engagement. 

Prior to joining Harvard Chan, Amanda worked as a science journalist and newsroom leader at Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), an award-winning nonprofit science news outlet published by the American Chemical Society. Under Amanda’s leadership C&EN grew from a print magazine to a vibrant multichannel news operation used by more than 8 million people a year.  

Amanda also serves on the advisory board of Drug Hunter, a platform that empowers, educates, and connects scientists who work in drug discovery. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters of Science in Chemistry from MIT.

Email Amanda at | Follow her on Twitter | Connect with her on LinkedIn


Meng Meng Xu

Photo of Meng Meng XuProgram assistant, Center for Health Communication

Meng Meng Xu (she/her) is the Clinical Director of Eye Services at the South Boston Community Health Center and a faculty member at the New England College of Optometry. She has 10 years of experience delivering eye care to underserved communities and designing international educational programs in eye care.  She also mentors international students on communication skills and cultural competency.  She is pursuing a Masters in Public Health at HSPH part-time in Health Management.  She has in interest in cross-cultural communication and public health literacy.


Eli Cahan

Eli Cahan, host of Center for Health Communication's health journalism bonfiresHost, Center for Health Communication’s health journalism bonfires

Eli Cahan, MD, MS is an award-winning investigative journalist covering the intersection of child welfare and social justice. His written work has been featured in The Washington Post, LA Times, Rolling Stone, and USA Today, among other publications. His multimedia work has appeared on TV via ABC and radio via NPR. Eli’s reporting has won awards from the National Press Club, the News Leaders Association, and elsewhere. He has received reporting fellowships from the Pulitzer Center and the National Press Foundation, among others. Eli is also a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston Medical Center, and Harvard Medical School.


Yuning Liu

Yuning Liu, research assistant at the Center for Health Communication and PhD candidate in Population Health SciencesResearch assistant, Center for Health Communication

Yuning Liu is a PhD student in the Population Health Sciences program at Harvard University. She specializes in understanding the interaction between digital life and wellbeing. Specifically, she studies the impact of social media on individuals’ sense of well-being and explores ways to enhance evidence-based online health communication. Yuning’s approach draws from a multidisciplinary toolkit, incorporating theories from health communication, psychology, and mental health, while applying advanced statistical and computational methodologies. Yuning also aims to leverage the richness of data from social media platforms from both developed and developing countries in her research. Yuning was originally trained in Medicine, Economics, and Global Health. Before starting her PhD at Harvard, she was a data scientist at JPMorgan Chase Institute. She worked as a research scientist intern at the social science division of Meta (Facebook) during the summers of 2022 and 2023. As a social scientist focusing on population development, Yuning aims to provide evidence on social media and mental wellbeing, which would inform further innovative actions and policymaking.