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2102 Skinner Building

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742


tel: 301-405-0640

fax: 301-314-9471


Email: nan[at]umd.edu

Short Bio

Xiaoli Nan (Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) is a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and Professor of Communication Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is the Director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication. Nan is a Co-Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication, an affiliate professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, a faculty associate of the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and a full member of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center's Population Science Program. At UMD, Nan conducts research and teaches courses in health and risk communication, persuasion and attitude change, media effects, and quantitative research methods. 


Nan has published extensively in her areas of specialization (Google Scholar). Her work appears in communication and interdisciplinary journals such as Human Communication Research, Communication Research, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Advertising, Psychology and Marketing, Marketing Theory, and Vaccine. Nan’s research has been recognized with Top Paper Awards from the International Communication Association (ICA), the National Communication Association (NCA), and the Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).


Nan’s research program has been continuously supported by federal grants for over 15 years. She has been Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Energy, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Homeland Security, totaling over $7.5 million. 


Nan is a senior editor for the journal Health Communication and serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals including Human Communication Research, Communication Research, the Journal of Health Communication, and the Journal of Advertising. 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. Nan was the Vice-Chair and Chair of the Health Communication Division of the National Communication Association.

In 2018, Nan received the Mayhew Derryberry Award from the American Public Health Association for outstanding contributions to health education research and theory. In 2020, she was named a Lewis Donohew Outstanding Health Communication Scholar, conferred biennially by the Kentucky Conference on Health Communication.