Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication
Dr. K. “Vish” Viswanath is Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) and in the McGraw-Patterson Center for Population Sciences at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). He is also the Faculty Director of the Health Communication Core of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC). Other additional administrative and scientific leadership positions held by Dr. Viswanath include: Director of the Center for Translational Communication Science, DFCI/Harvard Chan; Director, Harvard Chan India Research Center and Co-Director, Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness, Harvard Chan. He is the founding Director of DF/HCC’s Enhancing Communications for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Laboratory.
Dr. Viswanath’s work, drawing from literature in communication science, social epidemiology, and social and health behavior sciences, focuses on translational communication science to influence public health policy and practice. His primary research is in documenting the relationship between communication inequalities, poverty and health disparities, and knowledge translation to address health disparities. He has written more than 240 journal articles and book chapters concerning communication inequalities and health disparities, knowledge translation, public health communication campaigns, e-health and digital divide, public health preparedness and the delivery of health communication interventions to under-served populations. He is the Co-Editor of four books and monographs: Mass Media, Social Control and Social Change (Iowa State University Press, 1999), Health Behavior and Health Education: Theory, Research & Practice, 5th Ed. (Jossey Bass, 2015), The Role of Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use (National Cancer Institute, 2008) and A Socioecological Approach to Addressing Tobacco-Related Health Disparities (National Cancer Institute, 2017). He was also the Editor of the Social and Behavioral Research section of the 12-volume International Encyclopedia of Communication (Blackwell Publishing, 2008).
In recognition of his academic and professional achievements, Dr. Viswanath received several awards including the Postdoctoral Mentor of the Year Award from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award For Excellence in Tobacco Research, American Society for Preventive Oncology, the Dale Brashers Distinguished Mentorship Award, National Communication Association, Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award jointly given out by the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association and the Mayhew Derryberry Award from the American Public Health Association (APHA) for his contribution to health education research and theory and the CLA Alumnus of Notable Achievement, University of Minnesota. He delivered the 23rd Annual Aubrey Fisher Lecture at University of Utah in 2009. He was elected Fellow of the International Communication Association (2011), the Society for Behavioral Medicine (2008) and the Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (2006).
For more information about Dr. Viswanath’s research, visit https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/viswanathlab/.