Noel Brewer, PhD

Gillings Distinguished Professor in Public Health
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
Department of Health Behavior
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
325 Rosenau Hall
CB #7440
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Noel T. Brewer’s research examines vaccination, tobacco use, medical screening, and other cancer-related health behaviors. He has published over 375 papers on these topics, including on 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. Dr. Brewer is a voting member of CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and advises the World Health Organization on the drivers of vaccination.

He also leads two R01 grants on vaping and co-leads another R01 grant on menthol cigarette bans. 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.

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.

Noel Brewer in the Gillings News

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