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Elise Lev realizes that cancer care involves a holistic approach

Dr. Elise Lev realizes that cancer care involves treating the whole patient, not just the disease. For decades, Lev’s clinical research has focused on the mind-body relationship as it affects cancer patients and their ability to adjust to their illness and to respond to treatment. She has also studied the impact of cancer on the patient’s caregivers and family members, and how the caregivers’ response, in turn, can influence the patient’s physical well-being. Finding ways for patients to improve the quality of their lives, with an emphasis on self-care and self-efficacy, is her mission.

In addition to sharing her insights with her nursing students, Lev has presented her research findings in refereed papers, journals, book chapters, and abstracts, and presented her findings at professional symposiums. She also contributes to her profession as a member of the Oncology Nursing Society, the Society for Education and Research in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, and the American Nurses Association Council on Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing and Nurse Researchers. Cancer patients directly benefited from her findings through her work as a contributing writer of the first edition of “A Resource Guide for Cancer Patients in New Jersey,” published by the New Jersey State Commission on Cancer Research, of which she is a member.

Lev's accomplishments have been acknowledged with a number of awards, including a Henry Rutgers Research Fellowship, and the Excellence in Writing Award of the Connecticut Nurses’ Association. Moreover, she has twice been awarded the Dr. Lucie Kelley Research Award.


Lev completed her bachelor's degree at Adelphi University, N.Y., and earned master of arts, master of education, and doctor of education degrees from the Teachers’ College of Columbia University. She was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, for two years. Lev came to Rutgers in 1990 after teaching at the College of New Rochelle and Norwalk Community College and working as a public health nurse.

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