• Hunstman Cancer Institute Investigator, Huntsman Cancer Institute
  • Professor, College Of Nursing


  • B.A., Sociology, University of Cincinnati
  • M.S., Psychology Department, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Psychology Internship (APA approved), Psychology, Veteran’s Administration Medical Center; Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Ph.D., Psychology Department-Clinical Psychology, University of Utah
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Family and Preventive Medicine and University Counseling Center , University of Utah


Lee Ellington is a Professor at the College of Nursing, a clinical psychologist, and a Huntsman Cancer Institute Investigator. She holds the Robert S. and Beth M. Carter Endowed Chair. Her interdisciplinary program of research focuses on the impact of interpersonal health communication on adjustment, decision-making, and health. Dr. Ellington has had over 20 years of continuous funding from NIH and the American Cancer Society, and for the last decade her team has focused their research on hospice care of families facing life-limiting cancer. She was a Project Leader on a Program Project Grant (5P01CA138317-06; PI Mooney) on hospice family caregivers of cancer patients and nurse communication, and recently completed a multi-site R01 in partnership with the Palliative Care Research Cooperative (NR016249) assessing the responsiveness of hospice care team members to the daily needs of cancer family caregivers. She is also the PI of an Administrative Supplement, led by colleague Dr. Kristin Cloyes, to examine the experiences of sexual and gender minority hospice family caregivers. To date, her team’s work has informed the dire need for health care teams to assess and meaningfully engage family caregivers much earlier in the advanced cancer care trajectory.

Additionally, Dr. Ellington co-directs a T32 in Interdisciplinary Training Program in Cancer, Caregiving, and End-of-Life Care (T32 NR013456; mPIs Ellington & Mooney). She has mentored multiple trainees and junior faculty conducting research on families facing a variety of serious illnesses/conditions.

Finally, Dr. Ellington is the founder and director of the Family Caregiving Collaborative. This is a College of Nursing led interdisciplinary Collaborative which involves coalescing interdisciplinary faculty and community members to inform programmatic components and designate short and long-term objectives for the ultimate benefit of family caregivers. As part of this work, Dr. Ellington was awarded a 5-year K07 Academic Leadership Award—The Family Caregiving Research Collaborative (K07 AG068185).

Career Highlights