Lailea Noel

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Areas of Expertise

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


Dr. Lailea Noel is an assistant professor at the Silver School of Social Work. She received her PhD in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. She also earned a MA in Social Service Administration from The University of Chicago. Dr. Noel’s research seeks to understand the impact of social and economic factors on cancer treatment practices for vulnerable populations, especially those living in residentially isolated and low-SES communities. She collaborates with community and academic partners to create and implement both clinic-based and community-based interventions aimed at reducing barriers to the delivery and receipt of quality breast cancer services.

Dr. Noel has an extensive practice background that has informed her research and teaching interests. She has 20 years of health administration experience in the field of oncology and non-profit management. Before pursuing her doctorate degree, she held such positions as Executive Director of the American Cancer Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Director of Cancer Control Programs for the American Cancer Society in Chicago, Illinois and Associate Administrative Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Prior to joining the faculty at NYU Silver, Dr. Noel has been engaged in a community-based participatory research project in St. Louis, Missouri in an urban area comprised of predominately African American communities with high rates of poverty and cancer mortality. Her research conducted in St. Louis has been presented nationally at the Society for Social Work and Research annual meeting and the American Association for Cancer Research conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. She has also been invited as the keynote speaker at several African American Women’s groups across the St. Louis – East St. Louis area. Dr. Noel’s dissertation work, supported by an American Cancer Society’s Doctoral Training Grant in Oncology Social Work, explored the lived experiences of African American women who had not started treatment for breast cancer 6-months to 2 years following diagnosis. The results of this pilot study will serve to inform future research in the New York City area.