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Dr. Santosh Vijaykumar

Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow

Department: Psychology

Santosh is a health and risk communication scientist with research interests at the intersection of public health, behavioural science and new media technologies.

Specifically, he studies mobile and social media interventions for addressing global health challenges with a focus on tropical and infectious diseases. Santosh’s research analyses and evaluates the effects of both, bespoke innovations (like crowdsourced surveillance applications) as well as generic platforms (like Twitter and Facebook) on individuals, communities and health systems during infectious disease outbreaks. The research approach involves mixed methodologies, trans-disciplinary conceptualization and collaborations with policymakers, activists and the industry. His work, spanning the US, Singapore, Sri Lanka and India, has been published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour among others. 

Campus Address

Northumberland Building

(44) 191 243 7214

Current and Recent Projects

  • The Spread of Zika conversation and the role of content amplifiers
  • Adoption of social media by health workers during public health emergencies
  • Analysing social media outreach vis-à-vis public engagement and agenda setting

Key Publications and Outputs

(Select publications)


Pagliari, C., Vijaykumar, S. (2016) Digital participatory surveillance and the Zika crisis: Opportunities and Caveats. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 10(6):e0004795.doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004795.


Lwin, M.O., Vijaykumar, S.,* Rathnayake, V.S., Lim, G., Panchapakesan, C.K., Foo, S., Wijayamuni, R., Wimalaratne, P., Fernando, O.N.N. (2016). A social media mHealth solution to address the needs of dengue prevention and management in Sri Lanka. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(7): e149. doi: 10.2196/jmir.4657


Vijaykumar, S.,* Jin, Y., & Nowak, G. (2015). Social media and the virality of risk: The Risk Amplification through Media Spread (RAMS) model. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 12(3), 653-677.


Vijaykumar, S., Wray, R. J., Buskirk, T., Piplani, H., Banerjee, J., Furdyk, M., & Pattni, R. (2014). Youth, new media, and HIV/AIDS: Determinants of participation in an online health social movement. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 17(7), 488-495. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2013.0124


Vijaykumar, S., Lwin, M. O., Chao, J., & Au, C. (2013). Determinants of food label use among supermarket shoppers: A Singaporean perspective. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 45(3), 204-212.


Vijaykumar, S., Wray, R., Jupka, K., Clarke, R., & Shahid, M. (2013). Prostate cancer survivors as community health educators: Implications for informed decision making and cancer communication. Journal of Cancer Education, 1-6. doi: 10.1007/s13187-013-0559-9

PGR Supervision

  • Hsu Myat Mon, Effects of audio Twitter on risk perceptions during public health emergencies
  • Chitra Panchapakesan, Participatory mobile health communication
  • Cyndy Au, Determinants of food and nutrition labelling in Singapore 



Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • Health risk communication and behavioural change  
  • Mobile and social media, crowdsourcing and civic engagement
  • Global health, infectious disease and food safety

Sponsors and Collaborators

  • University of Georgia, Grady School of Journalism
  • University of Edinburgh, Global Health Academy
  • University of Colombo School of Computing
  • Colombo Municipal Council, Sri Lanka
  • Mobitel, Sri Lanka
  • DuPont Nutrition and Health
  • International Union of Nutrition Sciences, Malaysia
  • CommCare, Nepal


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