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Postdoctoral Fellow Earns Best Presentation at International Conference

November 8, 2019

Postdoctoral scholar Deepti Chittamuru (left)Deepti Chittamuru won the best abstract award — out of 700 abstracts submitted — at the 17th International Conference on Communication in Healthcare. She was also awarded the Health Equity Scholarship by the Academy of Communication in Healthcare, an organization committed to innovative research and teaching of relationship-centered communication in the context of the healthcare system.

Chittamuru is a postdoctoral fellow on UC Merced’s Communication, Culture and Health research team led by Professor Susana Ramirez.

At the conference, Chittamuru presented her abstract on a quasi-randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of values-based message frames on multiple Facebook audiences. This series of experiments used messages from a public health literacy campaign to prevent type 2 diabetes called The Bigger Picture campaign. She found that contrary to prior research and the study’s hypothesis, there were patterns in the efficacy of values-based message frames across multiple Facebook audiences. Some values-based message frames were consistently more appealing to disparate Facebook audiences while others consistently underperformed across these audiences.

Chittamuru earned a Ph.D. in communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, a Master in Information Management and Systems focusing on human-computer interaction from UC Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and systems engineering from Andhra University in India. She has extensive experience in designing, deploying and evaluating technology-based interventions in a wide variety of contexts in public health.