Photo of Vish Viswanath,  PhD

Vish Viswanath, PhD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Phone: (617) 632-2225
Fax: (617) 632-5690

Vish Viswanath, PhD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


  • Professor of Health Communication, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health
  • Professor of Health Communication, Population Sciences, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute



  • Member, Center Scientific Council

Research Abstract

Dr. Viswanath's work, drawing from literatures 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 through community-based research to address health disparities. His research is supported by funding from private and public agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


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  • Cooper LA, Ortega AN, Ammerman AS, Buchwald D, Paskett ED, Powell LH, Thompson B, Tucker KL, Warnecke RB, McCarthy WJ, Viswanath KV, Henderson JA, Calhoun EA, Williams DR. Calling for a bold new vision of health disparities intervention research. Am J Public Health 2015; 105 Suppl 3:S374-6. PubMed
  • Chan CK, Oldenburg B, Viswanath K. Advancing the science of dissemination and implementation in behavioral medicine: evidence and progress. Int J Behav Med 2015; 22:277-82. PubMed
  • Gray SW, Cronin A, Bair E, Lindeman N, Viswanath V, Janeway KA. Marketing of personalized cancer care on the web: an analysis of internet websites. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2015. PubMed
  • Nagler EM, Sinha DN, Pednekar MS, Stoddard AM, Gupta PC, Mathur N, Lando H, Aghi M, Shulman Cordeira L, Viswanath K, Sorensen G. Social contextual factors and tobacco use among Indian teachers: Insights from the Bihar School Teachers' Study. Prev Med 2015; 74:24-30. PubMed
  • Brandon TH, Goniewicz ML, Hanna NH, Hatsukami DK, Herbst RS, Hobin JA, Ostroff JS, Shields PG, Toll BA, Tyne CA, Viswanath K, Warren GW. Electronic nicotine delivery systems: a policy statement from the american association for cancer research and the american society of clinical oncology. J Clin Oncol 2015; 33:952-63. PubMed
  • Brandon TH, Goniewicz ML, Hanna NH, Hatsukami DK, Herbst RS, Hobin JA, Ostroff JS, Shields PG, Toll BA, Tyne CA, Viswanath K, Warren GW. Electronic nicotine delivery systems: a policy statement from the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Clin Cancer Res 2015; 21:514-25. PubMed
  • Blanch-Hartigan D, Viswanath K. Socioeconomic and sociodemographic predictors of cancer-related information sources used by cancer survivors. J Health Commun 2015; 20:204-10. PubMed
  • Blanch-Hartigan D, Blake KD, Viswanath K. Cancer Survivors' Use of Numerous Information Sources for Cancer-Related Information: Does More Matter? J Cancer Educ 2014. PubMed
  • Wang MP, Wang X, Lam TH, Viswanath K, Chan SS. Ex-smokers are happier than current smokers among Chinese adults in Hong Kong. Addiction 2014. PubMed
  • Bekalu MA, Eggermont S, Ramanadhan S, Viswanath K. Effect of Media Use on HIV-Related Stigma in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS ONE 2014; 9:e100467. PubMed
  • Xie YJ, Stewart SM, Lam TH, Viswanath K, Chan SS. Television viewing time in Hong Kong adult population: associations with body mass index and obesity. PLoS ONE 2014; 9:e85440. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, McCloud R, Minsky S, Puleo E, Kontos E, Bigman-Galimore C, Rudd R, Emmons KM. Internet use, browsing, and the urban poor: implications for cancer control. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr 2014; 2013:199-205. PubMed
  • Sorensen G, Pednekar MS, Sinha DN, Stoddard AM, Nagler E, Aghi MB, Lando HA, Viswanath K, Pawar P, Gupta PC. Effects of a tobacco control intervention for teachers in India: results of the Bihar school teachers study. Am J Public Health 2013; 103:2035-40. PubMed
  • Wang MP, Wang X, Lam TH, Viswanath K, Chan SS. The tobacco endgame in Hong Kong: public support for a total ban on tobacco sales. Tobacco Control 2013. PubMed
  • Ramanadhan S, Viswanath K. Priority-setting for evidence-based health outreach in community-based organizations: A mixed-methods study in three Massachusetts communities. Transl Behav Med 2013; 3:180-188. PubMed
  • Nagler RH, Viswanath K. Implementation and Research Priorities for FCTC Articles 13 and 16: Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship and Sales to and by Minors. Nicotine Tob Res 2013; 15:832-46. PubMed
  • Wang MP, Wang X, Lam TH, Viswanath K, Chan SS. Health information seeking partially mediated the association between socioeconomic status and self-rated health among Hong Kong Chinese. PLoS ONE 2013; 8:e82720. PubMed
  • Wang MP, Viswanath K, Lam TH, Wang X, Chan SS. Social determinants of health information seeking among Chinese adults in Hong Kong. PLoS ONE 2013; 8:e73049. PubMed
  • Ramanadhan S, Mendez SR, Rao M, Viswanath K. Social media use by community-based organizations conducting health promotion: a content analysis. BMC Public Health 2014; 13:1129. PubMed
  • Kontos EZ, Emmons KM, Puleo E, Viswanath K. Contribution of communication inequalities to disparities in human papillomavirus vaccine awareness and knowledge. Am J Public Health 2012; 102:1911-20. PubMed
  • Sanchez MA, Vinson CA, Porta ML, Viswanath K, Kerner JF, Glasgow RE. Evolution of Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T.: moving research into practice. Cancer Causes Control 2012; 23:1205-12. PubMed
  • Nagler EM, Pednekar MS, Viswanath K, Sinha DN, Aghi MB, Pischke CR, Ebbeling CB, Lando HA, Gupta PC, Sorensen GC. Designing in the social context: using the social contextual model of health behavior change to develop a tobacco control intervention for teachers in India. 2012. PubMed
  • Galarce EM, Ramanadhan S, Weeks J, Schneider EC, Gray SW, Viswanath K. Class, race, ethnicity and information needs in post-treatment cancer patients. Patient Educ Couns 2011. PubMed
  • Mack JW, Paulk ME, Viswanath K, Prigerson HG. Racial disparities in the outcomes of communication on medical care received near death. Arch Intern Med 2010; 170:1533-40. PubMed
  • Ackerson LK, Viswanath K. Media Attention and Public Perceptions of Cancer and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. J Community Health 2010; 35:409-16. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Herbst RS, Land SR, Leischow SJ, Shields PG, . Tobacco and cancer: an American Association for Cancer Research policy statement. Cancer Res 2010; 70:3419-30. PubMed
  • Koh HK, Oppenheimer SC, Massin-Short SB, Emmons KM, Geller AC, Viswanath K. Translating research evidence into practice to reduce health disparities: a social determinants approach. Am J Public Health 2010; 100 Suppl 1:S72-80. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Ackerson LK, Sorensen G, Gupta PC. Movies and TV influence tobacco use in India: findings from a national survey. PLoS ONE 2010; 5:e11365. PubMed
  • Loggers ET, Maciejewski PK, Paulk E, Desanto-Madeya S, Nilsson M, Viswanath K, Wright AA, Balboni TA, Temel J, Stieglitz H, Block S, Prigerson HG. Racial Differences in Predictors of Intensive End-of-Life Care in Advanced Cancer Patients. J Clin Oncol 2009; 27:5559-64. PubMed
  • Ramanadhan S, Wiecha JL, Emmons KM, Gortmaker SL, Viswanath K. Extra-team connections for knowledge transfer between staff teams. 2009. PubMed
  • Ackerson LK,Viswanath K. Communication inequalities, social determinants, and intermittent smoking in the 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey. Preventing Chronic Disease 2009; 6:A40. PubMed
  • Arya M,Behforouz HL,Viswanath K. African American women and HIV/AIDS: a national call for targeted health communication strategies to address a disparity. AIDS Read 2009; 19:79-84, C3. PubMed
  • Stryker JE,Fishman J,Emmons KM,Viswanath K. Cancer risk communication in mainstream and ethnic newspapers. Preventing Chronic Disease 2008; 6:A23. PubMed
  • Ackerson LK, Viswanath K. The social context of interpersonal communication and health. J Health Commun 2009; 14 Suppl 1:5-17. PubMed
  • Hannon P, Lloyd GP, Viswanath K, Smith T, Basen-Engquist K, Vernon SW, Turner G, Hesse BW, Crammer C, von Wagner C, Backinger CL. Mass media and marketing communication promoting primary and secondary cancer prevention. J Health Commun 2009; 14 Suppl 1:30-7. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Blake KD, Meissner HI, Saiontz NG, Mull C, Freeman CS, Hesse B, Croyle RT. Occupational practices and the making of health news: a national survey of US Health and medical science journalists. J Health Commun 2008; 13:759-77. PubMed
  • Emmons KM,Geller AC,Viswanath V,Rutsch L,Zwirn J,Gorham S,Puleo E. The SunWise Policy intervention for school-based sun protection: a pilot study. J Sch Nurs 2008; 24:215-21. PubMed
  • Emmons KM,Viswanath K,Colditz GA. The role of transdisciplinary collaboration in translating and disseminating health research: lessons learned and exemplars of success. Am J Prev Med 2008; 35:S204-10. PubMed
  • Geller AC, Zwirn J, Rutsch L, Gorham SA, Viswanath V, Emmons KM. Multiple levels of influence in the adoption of sun protection policies in elementary schools in Massachusetts. Arch Dermatol 2008; 144:491-6. PubMed
  • Arora NK, Hesse BW, Rimer BK, Viswanath K, Clayman ML, Croyle RT. Frustrated and confused: the American public rates its cancer-related information-seeking experiences. J Gen Intern Med 2007; 23:223-8. PubMed
  • Colditz GA, Emmons KM, Vishwanath K, Kerner JF. Translating science to practice: community and academic perspectives. J Public Health Manag Pract 2008; 14:144-9. PubMed
  • Savoia E,Stoto MA,Biddinger PD,Campbell P,Viswanath K,Koh H. Risk-communication capability for public health emergencies varies by community diversity. BMC Res Notes 2008; 1:6. PubMed
  • Taylor-Clark K, Koh H, Viswanath K. Perceptions of environmental health risks and communication barriers among low-SEP and racial/ethnic minority communities. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2007; 18:165-83. PubMed
  • McNeill LH, Viswanath K, Bennett GG, Puleo E, Emmons KM. Feasibility of using a web-based nutrition intervention among residents of multiethnic working-class neighborhoods. Prev Chronic Dis 2007; 4:A55. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Kreuter MW. Health Disparities, Communication Inequalities, and eHealth. Am J Prev Med 2007; 32:S131-3. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Bond K. Social determinants and nutrition: reflections on the role of communication. J Nutr Educ Behav 2007; 39:S20-4. PubMed
  • Kontos EZ, Bennett GG, Viswanath K. Barriers and facilitators to home computer and internet use among urban novice computer users of low socioeconomic position. J Med Internet Res 2007; 9:e31. PubMed
  • Stryker JE, Emmons KM, Viswanath K. Un-covering differences across the cancer control continuum: A comparison of ethnic and mainstream cancer newspaper stories. Prev Med 2007; 44:20-5. PubMed
  • Cairns CP, Viswanath K. Communication and colorectal cancer screening among the uninsured: data from the Health Information National Trends Survey (United States). Cancer Causes Control 2006; 17:1115-25. PubMed
  • Bennett GG, Wolin KY, Viswanath K, Askew S, Puleo E, Emmons KM. Television Viewing and Pedometer-Determined Physical Activity Among Multiethnic Residents of Low-Income Housing. Am J Public Health 2006; 96:1681-5. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Randolph Steele W, Finnegan JR. Social capital and health: civic engagement, community size, and recall of health messages. Am J Public Health 2006; 96:1456-61. PubMed
  • Ramanadhan S, Viswanath K. Health and the information nonseeker: a profile. Health Commun 2006; 20:131-9. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Breen N, Meissner H, Moser RP, Hesse B, Steele WR, Rakowski W. Cancer knowledge and disparities in the information age. J Health Commun 2006; 11 Suppl 1:1-17. PubMed
  • Viswanath K. Science and society: the communications revolution and cancer control. Nat Rev Cancer 2005; 5:828-35. PubMed
  • Randolph W, Viswanath K. Lessons Learned from Public Health Mass Media Campaigns: Marketing Health in a Crowded Media World* Annu Rev Public Health 2004; 25:419-437. PubMed
  • Kreps G, Viswanath K. Communication interventions and cancer control: a review of the National Cancer Institute's health communication intervention research initiative. Fam Community Health 2001; 24:ix-xiii. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Arora P. Ethnic media in the United StatesL An essay on integration, assimilation, and social control. Eval & Prog Plan 2002; 3:39-56.
  • Viswanath K, Kosicki GM, Fredin E, Park E. Community ties, community-boundedness, and local public affairs knowledge gaps. Eval & Prog Plan 2000; 27:27-50.
  • Fitzgibbon M, Gans KM, Evans WD, Viswanath K, Johnson-Taylor WL, Krebs-Smith SM, Rodgers AB, Yaroch AL. Communicating healthy eating: lessons learned and future directions. J Nutr Educ Behav 2007; 39:S63-71. PubMed
  • Finnegan JR, Viswanath K, Hertog J. Mass media, secular trends, and the future of cardiovascular disease health promotion: an interpretive analysis. Prev Med 2000; 29:S50-8. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Finnegan JR, Hertog J, Ririe P, Murray D. Community type and the diffusion of campaign information. Eval & Prog Plan 1994; 64:39-59.
  • Griffin M, Viswanath K, Schwartz D. Gender Advertising in the U.S. and India: Exporting cultural stereotypes, media, culture, and society. Eval & Prog Plan 1994; 16:487-507.
  • Finnegan JR, Viswanath K, Kahn E, Hannan P. Exposure to the sources of heart disease prevention information: Community type and social group differences. Eval & Prog Plan 1993; 70:569-584.
  • Viswanath K, Kahn E, Finnegan JR, Hertog J, Potter J. Motivation and the "Knowledge Gap": Effects of a campaign to reduce diet-related cancer risk. Eval & Prog Plan 1993; 20:546-563.
  • Becker LB, Kosicki GM, Engleman T, Viswanath K. Finding work and getting paid: Predictors of success in the mass communications job market. Eval & Prog Plan 1993; 70:919-933.
  • Pavlik JV, Finnegan JR, Strickland D, Salmon C, Viswanath K, Wackman D. Increasing public understanding of heart disease: An analysis of data from the Minnesota Heart Health Program. Eval & Prog Plan 1993; 5:1-20.
  • Hertog JK, Finnegan JR, Rooney B, Baxter J, Elmer P, Graves K, Mullis R, Viswanath K, Potter J. Self-efficacy as a target population segmentation strategy in a diet and cancer risk reduction campaign. Eval & Prog Plan 1993; 5:21-40.
  • Finnegan JR, Rooney B, Viswanath K, Elmer P, Graves K, Baxter J, Hertog J, Mullis R, Potter J. Process evaluation of a home-based program to reduce diet-related cancer risk: the "WIN at Home Series". Health Educ Q 1992; 19:233-48. PubMed
  • Viswanath K, Finnegan JR, Hannan PJ, Luepker RV. Health and knowledge gaps: Some lessons from the Minnesota Heart Health Program. Eval & Prog Plan 1991; 34:712-726.
  • Potter JD, Graves K, Finnegan JR, Mullis R, Baxter J, Crockett S, Elmer P, Gloeb B, Hall N, Hertog J, Pirie P, Richardson S, Rooney B, Slavin J, Snyder P, Splett P, Viswanath K.. The Cancer and Diet Intervention Project: A community-based intervention to reduce nutrition-related risk of cancer. Health Educ Res 1990; 5:489-503.
  • Trenkner L, Rooney B, Viswanath K, Baxter J, Elmer P, Finnegan JR, Graves K, Hertog J, Mullis R, Pirie P, Potter J. Development of a scale using nutrition attitudes for audience segmentation. Health Educ Res 1990; 5:479-487.
  • Viswanath K, Finnegan JR, Rooney B, Potter J. Communitie ties and the use of newspapers and cable TV in a rural Midwestern community. Eval & Prog Plan 1990; 67:899-911.
  • Finnegan JR, Viswanath K, McGovern P, Baxter J, Elmer P, Graves K, Hertog J, Mullis R, Pirie P, Trenkner L, Potter J. Predictors of knowledge about healthy eating in a rural midwestern US city. Health Educ Res 1990; 5:421-431.
  • Finnegan JR, Viswanath K, Hannan P, Weisbrod R, Jacobs DR. Message discrimination: A study of its use in a campaign research project. Eval & Prog Plan 1988; 16:770-792.
  • Finnegan JR, Viswanath K. Community ties and use of cable television and newspapers in a Midwest suburb. Eval & Prog Plan 1988; 65:952-959.
  • Finnegan JR, Viswanath K, Loken B. Predictors of cardiovascular health knowledge among suburban cable TV subscribers and non-subscribers. Health Educ Res 1987; 3:141-151.
  • Viswanath K. International news in the U.S. media: Perceptions of foreign students. Eval & Prog Plan 1988; 65:952-959.