Gollust is a social scientist studying the intersections of communication, politics, and health policy. Her work examines the processes through which health information gets translated into the media, shapes public attitudes and opinions, and influences the health policy process. By describing the political, social, ethical, and psychological factors that moderate this process – and often pose as barriers – her research yields insight into how communication to the public and policymakers can be more effective. She has applied this research approach to several important public health challenges, including policies to address obesity, health disparities, the Affordable Care Act, and cancer screening and prevention. She weaves this expertise into her teaching in public health ethics and health policy analysis. Since 2010, she has shared her work with several advocacy groups and policymakers in Minnesota and has presented for two national Institute of Medicine working groups.