Gillings School Directory

Noel Brewer, PhD

Dr. Noel Brewer

Noel Brewer, PhD

Gillings Distinguished Professor in Public Health
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
Department of Health Behavior
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • T : (919) 966-3282
  • F : (919) 966-2921
  • E :
  • 325 Rosenau Hall
  • CB #7440
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599
  • USA

Dr. Noel T. Brewer’s research explores why people engage in vaccination, vaping, and cancer screening. He has published over 350 papers on these topics including behaviors related to HPV vaccination and vaping warnings. He is one of the most cited researchers in the world according to Clarivate.

Dr. Brewer leads a center on improving clinical staff communication about HPV vaccination, funded by a $12 million grant from NCI. The center is developing ways to expand the use and impact of the Announcement Approach Training developed by Dr. Brewer and colleagues that teaches providers to recommend HPV vaccine more effectively. 

He also leads two R01 grants on vaping. One project explores warnings for vapes and the other studies uncontrolled vaping. A previous clinical trial by Dr. Brewer and colleagues found that pictorial warnings for cigarette packs help smokers quit. The findings supported efforts by FDA to implement the enhanced existing warnings.

Dr. Brewer advises on vaccination for the World Health Organization, CDC, and other organizations. He advised the President’s Cancer Panel under two presidents, and has addressed the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine multiple times. Dr. Brewer co-edited the FDA’s book, Communicating Risks and Benefits: An Evidence-Based User's Guide. Media coverage of his research includes the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC and NPR. 

Over 40 students and 13 post-doctoral researchers have completed their training in his Health Cognition and Behavior Lab. Many of these trainees have moved on to postdocs and faculty positions at leading institutions.

Honors and Awards

Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher

2017 - 2022


2019, Association for Psychological Science

Representative Courses

HBEH 750: Applied Research Methods | Syllabus

Service Activities

Member, World Health Organization Working Group on Behavioral and Social Drivers of Vaccination

Member, Lancet Commission on Vaccine Acceptance in the United States

Member, Vaccine Confidence Working Group, National Vaccine Advisory Committee

Member, Vaccine Confidence Work Group, Board of Scientific Counselors, Deputy Director of Infectious Disease, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Key Publications

Ways that mental health professionals can encourage COVID-19 vaccination. Brewer, N. T., & Abad, N. (in press) JAMA Psychiatry.

HPV vaccine communication training in healthcare systems: Evaluating a train-the-trainer model. Brewer, N. T., Mitchell, C. G., Alton Dailey, S., Hora, L., Fisher-Borne, M., Tichy, K., & McCoy, T. (2021). Vaccine, 39.

Provider communication and HPV vaccine uptake: A meta-analysis and systematic review. Oh, N. L., Biddell, C. B., Rhodes, B. E., & Brewer, N. T.  (2021). Preventive Medicine, 148(106554).

Progress in HPV vaccine hesitancy. Brewer, N. T., Gilkey, M. B., & Thompson, P. (in press) Pediatrics.

Reactions to messages about smoking, vaping, and COVID-19: Two national experiments. Grummon, A. H., Hall, M. G., Mitchell, C. G., Pulido, M., Mendel, J. R, Noar, S. M., Ribisl, K. M., & Brewer, N. T. (in press) Tobacco Control.


PhD, Psychology, Rutgers University, 2002

MS, Psychology, Rutgers University, 2000

BA, Economics, University of California, 1993

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