Lailea Noel, Ph.D.

Lailea Noel, Ph.D.

Research Fellow

Lailea Noel is a research fellow at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, and was the 2018-19 Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellow. She comes from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where she is an assistant professor.

Noel’s research investigates the social and economic conditions that contribute to lower cancer treatment utilization and higher mortality rates in marginalized communities, particularly communities of color, and communities within residentially segregated urban and rural neighborhoods. She has a passion for conducting community-based participatory research and has a wealth of experience engaging communities, social scientists and medical professionals in such research partnerships. Her research interest and approach are informed by the two decades she spent as an oncology social work administrator at prestigious organizations — including the American Cancer Society and University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center — prior to pursuing her Ph.D.

During her doctoral studies at Washington University in St. Louis, Noel participated in a five-year, community-based participatory research project in an area with high rates of poverty and the worst cancer mortality rates in metropolitan St. Louis. Her dissertation work, supported by an American Cancer Society Doctoral Training Grant in Oncology Social Work, explored the experiences of African American women in St. Louis, who had not started treatment for breast cancer six-months to two years following diagnosis. Since she joined the NYU Silver faculty in 2016, Noel has established relationships with NYU Langone Perlmutter Cancer Center faculty and community partners.

As a research fellow, Noel will participate in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work’s ongoing collaboration with the Dell Medical School LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Interests

Health social work; cancer disparities; patient-provider communication; health care decision making; community-based participatory research; vulnerable populations


  • Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
  • M.A., The University of Chicago
  • B.A., University of Michigan


Social Work Building (SSW)


Mailing Address

The University of Texas at Austin
Steve Hicks School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd 3.116C
STOP D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358