Howard & McLean Parker Distinguished Professor
UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media
Cancer Prevention and Control
Area of Interest
My research interests boil down to a single question: How can we most effectively use communication to change behavior and thereby improve the health of individuals and populations? This question turns out to be highly complex, and demands the careful study of message source, content, design, channel, and context. Answering this question requires the use of several methodologies, including qualitative methods such as interviews and focus groups and quantitative methods such as surveys and experiments. In efforts to cumulative knowledge in the field, I have also been a prolific user of meta-analysis, a quantitative research technique for synthesizing entire literatures on a given topic. My goal is to advance and build communication science, as well as to contribute to and shape public policy where it intersects with communication and health.
My work spans several topical areas of the health communication field. In the early days of my career I was focused on HIV/STD prevention, while now I mostly focus on cancer communication and prevention, especially tobacco prevention and control.
Awards and Honors
- ICA Fellow, International Communication Association, 2023
- Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher, Social Sciences, 2018
- American Public Health Association Mayhew Derryberry Research Award, 2017
- Inaugural Abby Prestin Lecture, FDA Center for Tobacco Products, 2016
- NCA Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award, 2016
- Lewis Donohew Outstanding Health Communication Scholar Award, 2016
- Thomas Reuters Highly Cited Researcher, Social Sciences, 2014
- Faculty Community Service Award, College of Communications and Information Studies, University of Kentucky, 2005
- Faculty Research Excellence Award, College of Communications and Information Studies, University of Kentucky, 2005
- National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Program Award, 2004-2009
- Peter Merenda Prize in Statistics and Research Methodology, 2001
News and Stories
UNC Lineberger faculty catch a ride on Tar Heel Bus Tour
UNC Lineberger members were among the more than 70 UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and senior administrators along for the ride on a trip to connect with North Carolinians across the state.
NIH and FDA award $18.6M to UNC Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science
UNC TCORS was launched at UNC Lineberger in 2013 and provides scientific studies that inform FDA’s regulatory authority for tobacco products.
Noar named International Communication Association Fellow
Seth Noar, PhD, was named an ICA Fellow at the 2023 International Communication Association Conference. The honor recognizes distinguished scholarly achievement and contributions to the broad field of communication.
Study finds youth have misperceptions about synthetic nicotine in e-cigarettes
Seth Noar, PhD, Sarah Kowitt, PhD, MPH, and colleagues report in a study that there is widespread uncertainty and misperceptions about the sources of nicotine in e-cigarettes among youth.