James W. Dearing, PhD

University of Southern California


Jim Dearing is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Communication at Michigan State University. Dearing studies the diffusion of innovations, including the adoption and implementation of new evidence-based practices, programs, technologies and policies. His research and teaching spans dissemination science, implementation science, program sustainability, and the psychological and sociological basis of the diffusion process. He works with research and practice improvement teams in environmental remediation, nursing care, water conservation, injury and fatality prevention, public health, and healthcare.

Dearing was Senior Scientist with Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest nongovernmental healthcare provider where he was the principal investigator for a National Cancer Institute Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research. He has been PI for research grants from NSF, EPA, NCI, AHQR, and private foundations including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Currently he collaborates in a National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Center where he directs a community engagement core. Dearing was a member of the National Academy of Science/Institute of Medicine framework committee for a five-year programmatic review of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Guide health marketing and health communication review, and one of two scientific advisors to the coordinating committee of the NIH Science of Dissemination and Implementation Research National Conference. He was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and professor at Ohio University. His most recent co-edited book is Health Communication Research Measures (2016). In the past 18 months he has been an invited speaker at Dartmouth College, Meiji University, University of Toronto, University of Texas at Austin, NIEHS and several private foundations. Currently he serves as an advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and consultant to several NIH project teams.