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Isaac M. Lipkus
Tel: (919) 668-2348
Office: 3067 Pearson Building
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Isaac M. Lipkus, PhD

Professor in the School of Nursing

  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Lipkus is Professor in the School of Nursing and the Department of Community Medicine and Director of the Risk Communication Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, specializing in the area of social psychology. Dr. Lipkus, a nationally and internationally known expert on risk communication, is engaged in development of more effective tools for this purpose. For the last 14 years, his research has focused on cancer prevention and detection, and on the role of risk communication in patients' decisions pertaining to cancer treatment and modification of health behaviors. He has applied social cognitive models (with an emphasis on risk communication processes) to motivate changes in life style such as smoking cessation and changes in diet and exercise; to increase participation in screening for breast cancer and colorectal cancer; and to improve breast cancer treatment decisions. His recent research explores the influence of feedback about genetic factors on decision making concerning smoking cessation and choice of treatment of breast cancer.

    Academic Program Affiliations

    Master of Science in Nursing Program
    PhD in Nursing Program
    Doctor of Nursing Practice Program


    PhDUniversity of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
    MAUniversity of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
    BSUniversity of California-San Diego

    Research Interests

    Dr. Lipkus is interested in:
    1) the impact of risk perceptions (e.g., optimistic and pessimistic biases) on modifying precautionary behaviors (e.g., early prevention and detection of cancer, etc.) and
    2) how dispositional variables (e.g., hostility) and attitudinal variables (e.g belief in a just world) affect coping with negative life events (e.g., cancer, conflict in interpersonal relationships)