Staff: Katie M. Heley, PhD, MPH

Katie M. Heley

Katie M. Heley, PhD, MPH

Current Fellow

Cancer Prevention Fellow
Organization: Contact:

Katie Heley, PhD, MPH, is a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch (HCIRB).

Her scientific interests include the intersection of health and communication, using mixed methods to understand and influence attitudes, behavior, policy support and stigma around chronic, non-communicable diseases and their related behaviors. Her work focuses on health, visual, and policy communication; media and health; message effects, marketing, persuasion, and strategic communication around health behaviors; health-related stigma; and public health ethics. Katie also has extensive experience in intervention development, implementation, and evaluation; public health practice; program management; health literacy initiatives; and stigma-reduction efforts.

Dr. Heley received her PhD and MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and, as part of her doctoral training, also studied at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. Her dissertation explored how traditional, digital, and social media sources communicate around and frame health issues and behaviors; misinformation on social media; and visual framing on social media and in online news. Prior to working and studying at Johns Hopkins, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University.

Current and/or past BRP mentors include Wen-Ying Sylvia Chou and Robin Vanderpool.

Research Areas

  • Health communication
  • Visual communication
  • Stigma
  • Media
  • Ethics

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Heley K, Gaysynsky A, King AJ. Missing the Bigger Picture: The Need for More Research on Visual Health Misinformation. Sci Commun 2022; 44(4):514-527.
  • Heley K, Kennedy-Hendricks A, Niederdeppe J, Barry CL. Reducing Health-Related Stigma Through Narrative Messages. Health Commun 2020 Jun; 35(7):849-860.
  • Heley K, Czaplicki L, Kennedy RD, Moran M. 'Help Save The Planet One Bidi Stick At A Time!': greenwashing disposable vapes. Tob Control 2021 Mar 29.
  • Heley K. Improving depression knowledge and stigma in adolescents: The impact of a brief school-based intervention. Paper presentation at the 7th International Together Against Stigma Conference, San Francisco, CA. 2020 February.
  • Niederdeppe J, Heley K, Barry CL. Inoculation and Narrative Strategies in Competitive Framing of Three Health Policy Issues. Journal of Communication 2015 Oct; 65(5):838-862.

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