Jen Lee Headshot

Psychology, Sociology & Social Work

Jen Lee

Associate Professor of Psychology


  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Iowa
  • PhD University of Iowa
  • MA University of Iowa
  • MA University of Dayton
  • BA Luther College


Assistant Professor of Psychology Jen Lee, Ph.D., joined the Mount Mercy faculty full-time in 2012.

Prior to 2012, Dr. Lee served at the University of Iowa as an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Pain Research Program, and as an Associate Research Scientist in Iowa’s College of Nursing. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Mount Mercy and Coe College since 2008.

Dr. Lee’s faculty-student research, in collaboration with The University of Iowa Colleges of Nursing and Medicine (Physical Therapy, Oncology) and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), examines the psychology of health and illness, with emphases in pain, cancer, aging, personality, mental health, and quality of life. Her publications appear in Pain, Journal of Pain, European Journal of Pain, Applied Journal of Pain Research, Ergonomics, and she has several articles under review for publication.

With the support of numerous research grants, Dr. Lee’s research centers on identifying non-pharmacologic approaches to managing pain, fatigue, function and quality of life in patients with cancer and chronic pain, particularly in underserved and/or palliative care patients. She recently completed her clinical trial entitled, “Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) for Head and Neck Cancer Pain and Function: A Randomized and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Her newest research investigates the effects of physical activity and rehabilitation on physical and emotional well-being among patients diagnosed with lung cancer. Dr. Lee’s undergraduates play a pivotal role in these studies, and one of her students has her own grant to examine associations between allergies, neurodevelopment and behavior in children referred for outpatient therapy.

Dr. Lee is an active member of numerous university, local and national service and scholarly affiliations, including the: UIHC Patient and Family Advisory Council, Iowa Cancer Consortium, American Pain Society, Society of Behavioral Medicine, and International Association for the Study of Pain, among many others. She is also an invited speaker at a variety of clinical conferences, and is appointed as a National Cancer Advocate for the NIH’s Gynecologic Oncology Group.

In recent years, she earned the: UIHC Patient Service Excellence Award; University of Iowa Dissertation Fellowship;  University of Iowa Graduate Fellowship in Aging; University of Dayton Research Fellowship and Clinical Traineeship; Behavioral Medicine Grid-Enabled Psychological Assessment award; and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and Midwest Pain Society presentation awards. While at Luther College, Jen was a 4-time National Scholar Athlete, NCAA Academic All-Conference, and an NCAA 3rd Team Softball Pitcher.

When Jen is not teaching or doing research, she loves sports, especially softball, baseball and wrestling. A die-hard Cubs and Hawkeye fan, she attends every Iowa athletic event she can with family and friends. She also enjoys learning about and experiencing different cultures and regularly volunteers, particularly with cancer patients.

View her Curriculum Vitae here.