Smita C. Banerjee, PhD

Behavioral Scientist


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PhD, Rutgers University

I am an Assistant Attending Behavioral Scientist with research interests in health communication. The core domain of my health communication based research interests is in the area of persuasion, particularly message framing and health interventions. Other key areas of research interest are in media literacy, media effects, and adolescent risk-taking behaviors. I firmly believe that a better understanding of the impact of mediated and persuasive messages on health behavior change can lead to the development of significantly more effective campaigns for cancer prevention and control. My past work on cancer prevention has included the development of inoculation-based anti-smoking interventions, aimed at changing the salient beliefs that influence smoking among adolescents. As well, I have explored the social, psychological, and behavioral basis for tanning bed use, and message design to reduce tanning bed use among college students (with the goal of mitigating risk of skin cancer).

I am a faculty member in the Communication Skills (Comskil) Research and Training Laboratory, which trains physicians and other healthcare professionals to communicate in a patient-centric mode in order to strengthen clinician-patient communication. In the Comskil Training Program, we provide communication training to physicians, fellows, residents and nurses in various disciplines, including medical, surgical, and radiation oncology, pain and palliative care, critical care, radiology, and pediatrics.

I am a member of the National Communication Association, International Communication Association, and Society for Behavioral Medicine.