Dr. Sixiao Liu is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the College of Medicine at the University of Central Florida. As a public health communication scholar with specialized training in health equity and health campaign techniques, Dr. Liu brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Before joining UCF, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Liu’s research program emphasizes the design, implementation, and evaluation of tailored health messages for at-risk populations, including youth and young adults, immigrants, and racial and sexual minorities. Her work employs various message techniques, including framing, emotional appeal, targeting, cultural tailoring, and narrative persuasion. Her proficiency in digital design and implementation enables her to present health messages in various formats, such as posters, ads, textual messages, and videos, and adapt to different platforms.

In her approach to health intervention evaluation, Dr. Liu embraces a mixed-method research design. Her research investigates the behavioral and social determinants of health and scrutinizes the influence of media, marketing, and public health messages on health behaviors and outcomes. The overarching goal of her research is to transform knowledge into culturally appropriate interventions that resonate with individuals from diverse backgrounds, promoting both individual and community well-being. Her areas of focus encompass infectious disease prevention, tobacco and other substance use prevention, and the innovative application of advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence, in health message dissemination.

Beyond research, Dr. Liu actively engages in community collaborations and mentoring, fostering an inclusive and supportive environment. She obtained her Ph.D. in Communication from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Her work has garnered support from various funding sources, including the National Science Foundation.

Recent Publications

  1. Liu, S. & Chu, H. (2023) Parents’ COVID-19, HPV, and Monkeypox vaccination intention: A multilevel structural equation model of risk, benefit, barrier, and efficacy perceptions and individual characteristics. Patient Education and Counseling.
  2. Liu, S. & Chu, H. (2022). Examining the direct and indirect effects of trust in motivating COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Patient Education and Counseling,105(7), 2096-2102. 
  3. Chu, H. & Liu, S. (2021). Light at the end of the tunnel: Influence of vaccine availability and vaccination intention on people’s consideration of the COVID-19 vaccine. Social Science & Medicine, 286, 114315.
  4. Liu, S., Yang, J. Z., & Chu, H. (2021). When we increase fear, do we dampen hope? Using narrative persuasion to promote human papillomavirus vaccination in China. Journal of Health Psychology, 26(11), 1999-2009.
  5. Chu, H. & Liu, S. (2021). Integrating health behavior theories to predict American’s intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Patient Education and Counseling, 104(8), 1878-1886.
  6. Liu, S. & Yang, J. Z. (2020). The role of temporal distance perception in narrative vs. non-narrative persuasion related to e-cigarettes. Journal of Health Communication25(7), 543-553.
  7. Liu, S. & Yang, J. Z. (2020). Incorporating message framing into narrative persuasion to curb e-cigarette use among college students. Risk Analysis, 40(8), 1677-1690.
  8.  Yang, J. Z., Liu, S., Yang, J. Z., & Chu, H. & Chu, H. (2019). Now or future? Analyzing the effects of message frame and format in motivating Chinese females to get HPV vaccines for their children. Patient Education and Counseling, 102(1), 61-67.

Education & Specialties

• PhD, Communication, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA.
• MA, Communication, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA.
• MA, Journalism, Media & Communication, Cardiff University, United Kingdom.
• BA, Portuguese Study, Tianjin Foreign Studies University, China.

• Public Health Communication
• Digital Message Design
• Health Equity

Research Interests:
• Infectious Disease Prevention
• Tobacco & Other Substance Use Prevention
• Cancer Prevention
• Behavioral and Social Determinants of Health

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