Staff: Irina A. Iles, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Irina A. Iles, Ph.D., M.P.H.
NOTE: Dr. Iles is a Program Director in the Behavioral Research Program. This page reflects her time as a fellow; find her staff profile here.
Irina A. Iles, Ph.D., M.P.H., was a Cancer Prevention Fellow (CPF) in the Office of the Associate Director (OAD) in the Behavioral Research Program from 2019-2021.
Irina's research concerned the communicative aspect of health promotion and centers on how persuasive communication can be used to prevent and manage illness and promote population health.
Irina focused on understanding basic processes underlying human judgment and health decision making, particularly around risk-increasing health behaviors (e.g., smoking, poor nutrition), in order to design effective health messages. She was also interested in uncovering the effects of misleading advertising on health-related perceptions and behaviors.
In her first year of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship, Irina earned an M.P.H. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to that, she earned a Ph.D. in Health Communication from the University of Maryland at College Park. During graduate school, Irina was a research fellow with the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, and worked as a research scientist at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism in the Risk Communication and Resilience Program.
"Where are they now?": Following up with past BRP fellows
Updated August 2021
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA
How has your BRP fellowship influenced your career?
I think one of the most important things I've learned has been how to lead with kindness and be a team player. And that's really serving me well in my current career path.
Describe a favorite memory or two from your fellowship experience.
I was impressed to almost tears when my mentor Bill Klein asked if my presentation for my first fellows research meeting during the pandemic could be recorded since he couldn't attend. He watched the recording and sent me detailed feedback afterwards. While I've had great mentors along the way, this was beyond anything I ever experienced. This situation was a turning point for me in realizing the type of mentor I want to be when my time comes; I felt appreciated and supported on a whole new level.
Describe your current position, your current organization, and what you do.
I am a social scientist in the Office of Communications, Research and Risk Communications at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA. Our work focuses on developing evidence to inform CDER's communications, regulatory actions, and policies on a variety of topics, including opioids, benzodiazepines and biosimilars.
Publications from Fellowship Work
- Iles IA, Nan X, Ma Z, et al. Self-affirmation and defensive processing of graphic cigarette warning labels by African American smokers: A community-based study. Health Education Journal. 2019;78(3):301-314.
- Verrill L, Iles IA, Nan X. Soda or VitaSoda: How Product Name Influences Perceptions of Snack Food Healthfulness and the Moderating Role of Nutrition Facts Labels. Health Commun. 2020 Jul;35(8):966-973.
- Iles IA, Nan X. Counterfactuals in Health and Risk Messaging. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message Design and Processing 2017.
- Iles I, Boekeloo B, Seate AA, Quinton S. The Impact of Spirituality and Religiosity on Unprotected Sex for Adult Women. Am J Health Behav. 2016 Mar;40(2):240-7.
Selected Publications and Presentations
- Iles IA, Gillman AS, O'Connor LE, Ferrer RA, Klein WMP. Understanding responses to different types of conflicting information about cancer prevention. Soc Sci Med 2022 Oct; 311:115292.
- Iles IA, Gillman AS, Ferrer RA, Klein WMP. Self-affirmation inductions to reduce defensive processing of threatening health risk information. Psychol Health 2022 Oct; 37(10):1287-1308.
- Nan X, Iles IA, Yang B, Ma Z. Public Health Messaging during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond: Lessons from Communication Science. Health Commun 2022 Jan; 37(1):1-19.
- Iles IA, Gillman AS, Platter HN, Ferrer RA, & Klein WMP. Investigating the Potential of Inoculation Messages and Self-Affirmation in Reducing the Effects of Health Misinformation. Sci Commun 2021; 43(6):768-804.
- Iles IA, Pearson JL, Lindblom E, Moran MB. "Tobacco and Water": Testing the Health Halo Effect of Natural American Spirit Cigarette Ads and Its Relationship with Perceived Absolute Harm and Use Intentions. Health Commun 2021 Jun; 36(7):804-815.