Ellen Simon Stover

November 21, 1950March 16, 2014

Dr. Ellen Lee Simon Stover (b. November 21, 1950) was the first of four children born to Drs. Ralph and Charlotte Simon of Brooklyn, New York. Ellen and her family settled in Bethesda, Maryland in 1957 after her father began a career as a psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She excelled in academics from an early age through her high school career at Walter Johnson (class of 1968), and in her spare time performed as a ballerina with the Young Peoples Ballet Theater of Montgomery County. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1972, Ellen went on to complete her Ph.D. at the Catholic University of America in 1978. Following in her father’s footsteps, she began work at the NIMH, and embarked upon a career in behavioral science research that would span decades. Beginning in 1983, Ellen pioneered the NIMH initiative for research on AIDS, at a time when the disease was poorly understood and carried a significant social stigma. As the director of the Division on AIDS Research, her work on the behavioral and psychological factors contributing to HIV/AIDS transmission was instrumental in developing successful programs for education, prevention, and treatment. In more recent years, she expanded her work to include research programs on schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Ellen passed away on March 16, 2014 surrounded by her family, after a 9-month battle with an inoperable brain tumor. She is survived by her parents, her sister Lisa and brother Russell, her husband Alan, and their children Elena, Randall, and Samantha. Ellen was fiercely dedicated to her work, and her career has paved the way for groundbreaking international developments in AIDS research programs. Although we have made great strides in the understanding and treatment of HIV/AIDS, Ellen’s work has not yet been completed. If you would like to honor her memory, the family requests donations to the Whitman-Walker Clinic, a community-based HIV/AIDS education and treatment program in the Washington, DC area. Using the following link, you can dedicate a contribution in tribute to Ellen Stover:


  • Funeral ServiceF Friday, March 21, 2014
  • Reception Friday, March 21, 2014

Ellen Simon Stover

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Kathy Magruder

September 5, 2014

Ellen and I were colleagues during my 10 year stint at NIMH. I always loved working with her and admired that she took on the big challenges. Plus, I was always envious that her desk was so neat! We had children about the same age and used to co-lament the trials and tribulations of raising teenagers. Though Ellen is physically not with us, her legacy lives through her family and the important work she did.

Sherry Roberts

April 3, 2014

To Ellen's Family -- I just found out today that Ellen had passed, I'm so sorry for your loss. She was a big part of my life, since we worked closely together for 22 years. I have many fond memories of her. She touched many lives and was steadfast in her fight against AIDS. She will be missed by her family, friends, and professional colleagues.

March 27, 2014

Alan and family -- so sorry for your loss, thinking of you and sending love and blessings, Loraine Hutchins, from Montgomery College

Jeffrey Lieberman

March 22, 2014

Ellen's passing is sad in so many ways for me personally as well as for the field of mental illness research. She was my first program officer at the NIMH who supported me through my first successful grant application. But it was a short-lived relationship as this was the early 1980's and Ellen was selected to head up the NIMH's initiative in AIDS. We connected again professionally when she assumed responsibility for the Adult Translational Division. In this context she formed a close relationship with Wayne Fenton who had recently joined the NIMH and proved a quick study of the mechanics of clinical research from the NIH side and became a valuable addition to the Institute. Ellen and Wayne were inseparable and shepherded many grants and investigators successfully. From my perspective, those were some of her happiest years. Then her life seemed to abruptly change course. Wayne was tragically killed, her position at the NIMH changed and then she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Despite the pain of her illness and inevitable death, it is comforting to know that she was well cared for and supported in her last months. I was fortunate to be able to see her this past December for the last time. I will remember Ellen fondly and as representing what the NIMH does best; encouraging and supporting young investigators and advancing the field of research on mental illness. Words cannot assuage the grief of Ellen's passing but I refer you to a passage from Proverbs 31 that captures her spirit.

Bill Wellington

March 21, 2014

“Silence is Golden”
Ellen, the above title applies to you, our sister, who in your silence knew that we were there with you. We always were there, Ellen. And you will always be here, Ellen- for you were and will be with us, your sisters and brothers at Brightview.
-Bill Wellington

David Greenberg

March 21, 2014

Russ, Lisa, Elena, Samantha, Randy and Mr. and Mrs. Simon,
I knew her only from the time she spent at the gym. Her commitment was amazing and she never cheated the exercise. We had many many conversations about our children and our lives over the years and became gym friends. When I visited her in the Intensive Care unit , she was certainly alive and trying to cope with what was happening to her. I have only sympathy for all of you. I know that I will continue to miss her greatly. Thanks, Ellen for the time you had for me.

David Greenberg (Glen Echo, MD)

Joan Selby

March 20, 2014

Ellen was a wonderful person whose spunk and spirit encouraged others to make a difference. Her light was snuffed too early.

Cheryl Anne Boyce

March 20, 2014

Ellen Stover was a great leader who inspired others personally and through research. Her legacy will continue to affect public health and the lives of many. Condolences to her family and the field who has lost an exemplar.

March 20, 2014

Ellen was such a fabulous professional colleague and friend. She was instrumental in the very first NIMH grant that I received and we remained friends for 30 years after that. I saw her in so many wonderful places around the world from Asia to Europe and at so many meetings in the US. She was always there for advice and support through the toughest of times, both personally and professionally. She was a role model for how NIMH program staff should function. She is so missed by so many of us in the field. Truly a warm hearted and dedicated soul.
Charlie Nemeroff (Miami,FL)

Cathie Pead

March 20, 2014

It is with heavy hearts that we send this message of love and comfort to Samantha and her family as you mourn the passing of your mother, daughter, sister. Sadly we never got to meet Ellen but we know she continues to touch others through the many lives she touched. And we thank her for the gift of Samantha to our son Sean and our family.