A Tribute to Pioneering HIV/AIDS Researcher — Ellen Lee Simon Stover, PhD

Ellen Lee Simon Stover, PhDThis spring, the field of behavioral and social science lost a pioneer and change agent whose career spanned decades and without whom behavioral research in HIV/AIDS would not be what it is today. Ellen Lee Simon Stover, PhD, died March 16, 2014, following a nine-month battle with an inoperable brain tumor. She will receive an APA Presidential Citation and the Psychology and AIDS Distinguished Leader Award  for Outstanding Contributions in Research, Prevention, Education and Treatment on HIV/AIDS.

Stover was senior policy leader, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) on detail to the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Most recently, she conducted an evaluation of the NIH behavioral and social sciences research portfolio across 24 institutes and 21 scientific categories. The project was supported by the OBSSR with $400,000 over an 18-month period. Previously, she was on detail to the NIH Office of AIDS Research, where she led the development of an HIV/AIDS behavioral prevention think tank involving more than 135 scientists in seven workgroups. This led to an NIH funding opportunity announcement across numerous NIH institutes. Prior to that, Stover was director of the Division of AIDS and Health and Behavior Research at the NIMH, which supports a broad research portfolio focused on domestic and international HIV prevention along with the pathogenesis and treatment of neuropsychiatric consequences of HIV/AIDS.

Stover received her PhD in psychology from Catholic University, Washington, D.C., in 1978, and held progressively responsible positions at NIMH over the last 36 years. She had been responsible for developing and overseeing all NIMH AIDS research programs since their inception in 1983. Her accomplishments include the convening of the NIH Consensus Development Conference that produced science-based national recommendations for preventive interventions targeting HIV risk behaviors in 1997. Stover was on the editorial board of AIDS and Behavior and Neuropsychopharmacology and other key journals. She co-edited the recently updated second edition of "How to Write a Successful Research Grant Application: A Guide for Social and Behavioral Scientists" (with Willo Pequegnat and Cheryl Anne Boyce).

Over the years, Stover worked closely with the APA Office on AIDS on initiatives such as the Conference on Advancing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in Metropolitan Washington: Science-Practice Partnerships and APA HIV Community Day.

Dr. Ellen Stover, Dr. James Bray, and Dr. Willo Pequegnat pictured at APA Community Day – 2010

Dr. Ellen Stover, Dr. James Bray, and Dr. Willo Pequegnat  pictured at APA Community Day – 2010