James Dearing Ph.D.

James Dearing

Department Chair/Professor

  • Communication


Jim Dearing (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. Recently he was Senior Scientist for Kaiser Permanente, the largest nonprofit healthcare provider in the United States. Dearing is Principal Investigator of the Cancer Communication Research Center, a U.S. National Cancer Institute center of excellence (www.crn-ccrc.org). Previously, he was on the faculty of Ohio University, Michigan State University, and visiting faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. Dearing studied at Waseda University in Japan and has conducted research and evaluations in multiple countries. Dr. Dearing specializes in the diffusion of innovations, and the use of diffusion principles to disseminate and effectively implement and sustain worthy innovations. He works and speaks frequently with research and policy groups to accelerate the spread of evidence-based practices, programs, policies, and technologies, and to measure diffusion. He studied under and worked closely with Everett M. Rogers for 20 years. Dearing has led projects funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and U.S. federal agencies including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Science Foundation, and the National Cancer Institute. Recently he has worked on studies about healthcare delivery improvement, cancer care coordination and communication, lifestyle physical activity, pediatric care, university-community knowledge transfer, science teaching and learning, work-family balance in corporate settings, and alcohol and substance abuse innovations. A current research interest of his is the diffusion of telephone-based tobacco “quit lines” in Asian countries.

Roles & Responsibilities

Principal Investigator, National Cancer Institute Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research(CECCR) CRN Cancer Communication Research Center (2009 – 2014) Graduate Faculty, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado, 2009 – 2013. Full Member, Cancer Center, University of Colorado, 2011 – 2013. Co-Chair, Scientific Working Group (with Brian Mittman and Kathy Mazor), Cancer Research Network, 2012-2013. Expert Faculty, Implementation Research Institute, Center for Mental Health Services Research, Washington University in St. Louis, 2010 – 2011.

Key Research Interest

I both study the diffusion of innovations of various types in areas such as STEM education, cancer communication, and global health. I also apply lessons from the diffusion literature to the purposive design of innovations to heighten the likelihood of uptake, implementation, and sustained use by targeted plausible adopting organizations and individuals.

Contact Information

404 Wilson Rd., Room 473
Communication Arts and Sciences Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824