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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  • Ramanadhan S, Minsky S, Martinez-Dominguez V, Viswanath K. Building practitioner networks to support dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs in community settings. Transl Behav Med 2017. PubMed
  • Ramanadhan S, Nagler RH, McCloud R, Kohler R, Viswanath K. Graphic health warnings as activators of social networks: A field experiment among individuals of low socioeconomic position. Soc Sci Med 2017; 175:219-227. PubMed
  • Thompson B, Molina Y, Viswanath K, Warnecke R, Prelip ML. Strategies To Empower Communities To Reduce Health Disparities. Health Aff (Millwood) 2016; 35:1424-8. PubMed
  • Freedman RA, Viswanath K, Vaz-Luis I, Keating NL. Learning from social media: utilizing advanced data extraction techniques to understand barriers to breast cancer treatment. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2016. PubMed
  • McCloud RF, Okechukwu CA, Sorensen G, Viswanath K. Beyond access: barriers to internet health information seeking among the urban poor. J Am Med Inform Assoc 2016. PubMed
  • Nagler RH, Bigman CA, Ramanadhan S, Ramamurthi D, Viswanath K. Prevalence and Framing of Health Disparities in Local Print News: Implications for Multilevel Interventions to Address Cancer Inequalities. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2016; 25:603-12. PubMed
  • Criss S, Cheung L, Giles C, Gortmaker S, Viswanath K, Kwass JA, Davison K. Media Competition Implementation for the Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration Study (MA-CORD): Adoption and Reach. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016. PubMed
  • Criss S, Tran A, Ganter C, Aftosmes-Tobio A, Gortmaker S, Viswanath K, Kwass JA, Davison KK. A Cascade of Champions: A Qualitative Study about the MA-CORD Media Competition Implementation. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016. PubMed
  • McCloud RF, Okechukwu CA, Sorensen G, Viswanath K. Entertainment or Health? Exploring the Internet Usage Patterns of the Urban Poor: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res 2016; 18:e46. PubMed
  • Ramanadhan S, Nagler RH, McCauley MP, Lora V, Minsky S, Bruff C, Muneton YF, McCloud RF, Puleo E, Viswanath K. Much Ventured, Much Gained: Community-Engaged Data Collection by Adolescents and Young Adults. Prog Community Health Partnersh 2016; 10:217-24. PubMed
  • Wang X, Wang MP, Viswanath K, Wan A, Lam TH, Chan SS. Smoking and Secondhand Smoke Exposure at Home Were Associated with Poor Perceived Family Well-Being: Findings of FAMILY Project. PLoS ONE 2016; 11:e0161761. PubMed
  • McCauley MP, Ramanadhan S, Viswanath K. Assessing opinions in community leadership networks to address health inequalities: a case study from Project IMPACT. 2015; 30:866-81. PubMed
  • Pawar PS, Nagler EM, Gupta PC, Stoddard AM, Lando HA, Shulman L, Pednekar MS, Kasisomayajula V, Aghi MB, Sinha DN, Sorensen GS. Tracking intervention delivery in the 'Tobacco-Free Teachers/Tobacco-Free Society' program, Bihar, India. 2015; 30:731-41. PubMed
  • 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
  • Nagler EM, Sinha DN, Pednekar MS, Stoddard AM, Gupta PC, Mathur N, Lando H, Aghi M, Cordeira LS, 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 2015. 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
  • Ramanadhan S, Galarce E, Xuan Z, Alexander-Molloy J, Viswanath K. Addressing the Vaccine Hesitancy Continuum: An Audience Segmentation Analysis of American Adults Who Did Not Receive the 2009 H1N1 Vaccine. Vaccines (Basel) 2015; 3:556-78. 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • McCloud RF, Jung M, Gray SW, Viswanath K. Class, race and ethnicity and information avoidance among cancer survivors. Br J Cancer 2013; 108:1949-56. 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
  • 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. 2013. 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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,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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Ramanadhan S, Viswanath K. Health and the information nonseeker: a profile. Health Commun 2006; 20:131-9. PubMed
  • 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