Jude P. Mikal, PhD

Senior Research Fellow
Jude Mikal


Office Address

Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States


Senior Research Fellow


PhD, Cultural Perspectives in Education, University of California, Santa Barbara

MA, Cultural Perspectives in Education, University of California, Santa Barbara;
MA, French Literature, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

BS, Bachelor's degree, Business Administration, University of California, Berkeley;
BA, French Literature, University of California, Berkeley


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The advent and widespread adoption of social media and other forms of computer-mediate communication (CMC) has had a dramatic impact on population health: both good and bad. By changing how we view ourselves, how we engage with each other, and how we interact with our surroundings, there is hardly an aspect of the human experience that is not touched by the technology it is mediated or facilitated by.

Over the past 15 years, my research has focused on the role of computers in determining health through social engagement. We have known for a long time that socially supportive peer networks have a positive bearing on health, but the migration of those interactions into virtual spaces left critical questions as to whether and how those relationships would continue to buffer against distress. Moreover, as the affordances of these technologies have changed - so have the interactions and their implications on health.

My research focuses on the following:

  • Mental and physical health issues that drive social media engagement
  • Mental and physical health outcomes associated with social media engagement
  • What we can learn about people from the text-based traces of online social engagement
  • How technological advancements are changing the nature of aging and longevity
  • Qualitative / mixed-methods research


Social Media, Computer-mediated Communication (CMC)


French (native), Spanish (fluent), German (fluent)



Mikal, J.P. (2022). Where form meets function: The impact of social media platform char-acteristics on access to online social support. Universal Access in the Information Socie-ty, 1 – 4.

Mikal, J.P., Wurtz, R., & Grande, S.W. (2021). Older Adults’ Computer-Mediated Commu-nication (CMC) Engagement Following COVID-19 and its Impact on Access to Commu-nity, Information, and Resource Exchange: A Longitudinal, Qualitative Study. Gerontol-ogy and Geriatric Medicine, 7, 23337214211052201.

Mikal, J.P., Wurtz, R., & Grande, S.W. (2021). Social media as a modern Emergency Broad-cast System: A longitudinal qualitative study of social media use during COVID-19 and its impacts on social connection and social distancing compliance. Computers in human behavior reports, 4, 100137.

Mikal, J.P., Beckstrand, M.J., Grande, S., Parks, E., Oyenuga, M., & Odebunmi, T., … & Horvath, K. (2019). Online Support Seeking and Breast Cancer Patients: Changes in support seeking behavior following diagnosis and transition off cancer therapy. Health Communication, 1-10.

Mikal, J.P., Grande, S.W., Beckstrand, M.J. (2019). Codifying Online Social Support for Breast Cancer Patients: Retrospective qualitative assessment. Journal of medical Internet research, 21(10), e12880.

Grace, K., & Mikal, J. (2019). Incorporating qualitative methodologies and fieldwork into large scale, quantitative analyses of climate health in low-income countries. The Lancet Planetary Health, 3(12), e496-e498.


UMII, Large Seed Grant
08/01/2022 – 07/31/2024
University of Minnesota Informatics Institute
Leveraging Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning tools to identify prodromal cognitive impairment in longitudinal social media data

1P50MD017342-01, Co-I
09/01/2021 - 08/31/2026
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Center for Chronic Disease Reduction and Equity Promotion Across Minnesota ROLE: Co-I, ID Core

CON000000095165, Co-I
09/21/20121 - 08/20/2025
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Training in Informatics for Underrepresented Minority Students in PH Consortium (TRI-UMPH) ROLE: Co-I

1R44AG063683-01, Scientific Lead
09/01/2019 - 08/31/2022
Applied Medical Electronics (AME) Corp (National Institute on Aging prime)
A Mobile Informatics Solution to Aid in Memory ROLE: Site PI

1R43AG065130-01, Scientific Lead
09/30/2019 - 01/31/2020
Applied Universal Dynamics Corp (National Institute on Aging prime)
An Automated System to Locate Items Misplaced By Persons with Dementia in a Care Fa-cility ROLE: Site PI