Nick Iannarino, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Nick Iannarino
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Language, Culture, and the Arts
College-Wide Programs

Teaching Areas:


Research Areas:

Humor, Interpersonal health communication, oncofertility decision-making, Social Support, Uncertainty, Young Adult Cancer

Biography and Education

I specialize in health communication, and I am particularly interested in how people in close relationships manage the social experience of severe and chronic illness. My research considers the unique communication practices and challenges experienced by young adult cancer survivors and their close supporters. I am a Faculty Affiliate with University of Michigan's Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Research Group. I also study how adult siblings make health decisions for aging parents, and the use of humor in existing narratives about traumatic illness (e.g., blogs, comedy performances, memoirs, and graphic novels).

Teaching Interests:

Health Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Risk and Crisis Communication, Communication Research Methods

Research Interests:

Interpersonal health communication, young adult cancer, humor, social support, uncertainty, oncofertility decision-making

Selected Publications:

Iannarino, N.T., & Palmer-Wackerly, A.L. (2022). Fertility preservation decision-making communication between young adult cancer patients and their romantic partners: An application of the DECIDE typology. Health Communication, 37(6), 778-789. doi:10.1080/10410236.2020.1868065

Iannarino, N.T. (2018). “It’s my job now, I guess”: Biographical disruption and communication work in supporters of young adult cancer survivors. Communication Monographs, 85, 491-514. doi:10.1080/03637751.2018.1468916

Iannarino, N.T., Scott, A.M., & Shaunfield, S.L. (2017). Normative social support in young adult cancer survivors. Qualitative Health Research, 27, 271-284. doi:10.1177/1049732315627645


B.A., Communication: Electronic Media, University of Dayton

M.A., Communication, University of Dayton

Ph.D., Communication, University of Kentucky

Awards and Recognition

  • 2020 Distinguished Article/Chapter Award, National Communication Association Health Communication Division
  • 2019 "Writing your Mixed Methods Research for Publication” workshop, University of Michigan Mixed Methods Program
  • 2018 Vansant-Spoiden Award for Best Presentation, Department of Language, Culture, and Communication, University of Michigan-Dearborn
  • 2018 Michigan Road Scholars 18th Annual Tour participant, University of Michigan
  • 2016-2017 Faculty Scholars Program in Integrative Healthcare, University of Michigan