Faculty Mentors

Lee Ellington, PhD

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.  Dr. Ellington has an interdisciplinary program of research in family-patient-provider communication. Her primary interest is in meeting the health and well-being needs of family caregivers of advance cancer patients through communication processes.


Kathi H. Mooney, PhD, RN, FAAN

Kathy Mooney, PhD, RN, FAAN, is a Distinguished Professor in the University of Utah College of Nursing and holds the Louis S. Peery and Janet B. Peery Presidential Endowed Chair in Nursing. She is an investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and co-leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program.  Her research interests include cancer symptom management and outcomes of supportive care.


Michael Caserta, PhD

Michael Caserta, PhD, is a Professor in the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah.  He holds the Robert L. and Joyce T. Rice Presidential Endowed Chair in Healthy Aging and is an associate of the University of Utah Center on Aging and Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Nursing.  He is also a member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute's Cancer Control and Populations Sciences Program and an Adjunct Professor of Health Promotion and Education.

Kristin Gates Cloyes, RN, PhD, MN

Dr. Cloyes' program of research is centered on identifying and addressing mental health needs and health disparities among people in underserved groups who experience serious chronic illness.  In the past five years she led a team in field research to examine elements that are essential to designing and implementing sustainable end of life care in a prison, including the role of inmate hospice volunteers in delivering care to fellow prisoners.  Currently Dr. Cloyes is studying the effects of stress, including minority-related stress, on mental health and chronic illness outcomes among older adults who identify as LGBT or as African American.  This work is supported by a Claire M. Fagin Faculty Fellowship, awarded by the National Hartford Center for Gerontological Nursing Excellence.

Specialties: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing


Mollie R. Cummins, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Cummins is a health informaticist and faculty member in the informatics programs of both the College of Nursing and School of Medicine.  She holds a PhD in nursing science and information science from Indiana University.  In 2007, she studied methods of complexity science including agent-based modeling and network analysis at the Santa Fe Institute.

Jacqueline L. Eaton, PhD

Jackie Eaton's research uses transdisciplinary approaches to enhance the quality of life for older adults and their caregivers through arts-based interventions.  She uses participatory mixed method research to create ethnodrama as a form of high fidelity simulation.  Most recently Dr. Eaton is working with certified nursing assistants to incorporate creative caregiving techniques in long term care.

Jia-Wen Guo, PhD, RN

Dr. Guo is interested in research topics of facilitating nursing care and clinical research by Informatics [e.g., usability in electronic medication administration record (eMAR), designing change of shift handoffs for nurses, research database development, linking the research data to population database, and standardized terminology development], developing and validating measurements for healthcare outcomes, and evaluating quality of evidence in cancer nursing research.

Specialties: Nursing Informatics, Oncology Nursing

Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH

Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH, is a Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator and an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah. She is a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences (CCPS) research group. Kepka’s main research interests are the gaps in health care access and quality for vulnerable populations.

Lauri Linder, PhD, APRN, CPON

Lauri Linder, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah and a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the Cancer/Transplant Service Line at Primary Children’s Hospital. She is a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator and a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences program. Dr. Linder’s research interests are in the area of symptom management in children and adolescents with cancer with attention to care in the inpatient setting.

Ana Sanchez-Birkhead, PhD, WHNP-BC, APRN

Dr. Sanchez-Birkhead's research focuses on women's health issues and cancer-related disparities among vulnerable populations.  She has built community-academic partnerships to develop evidence-based interventions to prevent/manage chronic conditions.  She is currently working on two NIH funded projects examining experiences of Hispanic women suffering from reproductive concerns and breast cancer.

Katherine P. Supiano, PhD, LCSW

Katherine Supiano is an Associate Professor and the Director of Caring connections: A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program, the bereavement care program of the University of Utah serving the intermountain west.  She is a licensed clinical social worker and have been a practicing psychotherapist for over 35 years.  Dr. Supiano's clinical practice includes care of older adults with depression and multiple chronic health concerns, end-of-life care, and bereavement care.

Xiaoming Sheng, PhD

Title:  Director of Applied Statistics

Anna Beck, MD

Anna Beck, MD

Title:  Professor, Director of Palliative Care Services at UHealth, Supportive Oncology & Survivorship Disease Center of Excellence Leader, Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program Director

Paul C. LaStayo, PhD, PT, CHT

Paul LaStayo, PT, PhD, CHT, is a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, with adjunct professor appointments in several other departments. Dr. LaStayo is a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute.  Dr. LaStayo's clinical interest is in utilizing "exercise... Read More

Specialties: Physical Therapy

Lisa A. Cannon-Albright, PhD

Dr. Lisa Cannon-Albright is Professor and Division Chief of the Division of Genetic Epidemiology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She is a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator and a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences program. As a Genetic Epidemiologist her research interests include ... Read More

Ken R. Smith, PhD

Ken Smith, PhD, is an investigator at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), Distinguished Professor of Family Studies and Population science at the University of Utah, and a member and past-co-leader of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program. He is Director of the Pedigree and Population Program at the University of Utah that develops and ma... Read More

David W. Wetter, PhD, MS

Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor Director, Center for Health Outcomes and Population Equity (HOPE) Senior Director, Community Engagement and Cancer Health Equity Research at HCI Associate Director, Community-Engaged Practice at CTSI... Read More

Lab: Lab Website

Cornelia Ulrich, MS, PhD

Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Presidential Professor in Cancer Research Executive Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Utah Dr. Cornelia Ulrich is a cancer epidemiologist whose research focuses on lifestyle and biologic factors in cancer prevention and ca... Read More

Gary W. Donaldson, PhD

Professor and Director, Pain Research Center Department of Anesthesiology Member, Huntsman Cancer Institute Cancer Control & Population Sciences Adjunct Professor, College of Nursing My background is as an applied multivariate statistician and psychologist working to understand how pain interacts with biobehavioral and psychosocial fa... Read More

Fellowship: University of Denver

Rachel Hess, MD, MS

As a General Internist, Rachel Hess, MD, MS, provides primary care for adults. She has a special interest in women's health, particularly mid-life women's health. She is board certified in Internal Medicine. Her research focuses on understanding and improving patient-centered outcomes, such as health-related quality of life. She directs the Univeri... Read More

Specialties: General Internal Medicine

Fellowship: University of Pittsburgh and VA Pittsburgh Medical Center

Medical School: University of New Mexico, School of Medicine

Important Information



Postdoctoral Candidates:
Online Application

Predoctoral Candidates:
Email Applications to lee.ellington@nurs.utah.edu

Contact Us

Lee Ellington
(for more info on program)

T32 Co-Director
Email:  lee.ellington@nurs.utah.edu

Lica Stasner
T32 Administrative Liaison
Email: lica.strasner@nurs.utah.edu