Dr. McKellar received a BA in Philosophy from Smith College, Northampton, MA, and her MD from UT Health Science Center Houston. She completed her training in Radiation Oncology with MD Anderson Cancer Center and has worked in both academic and community based cancer centers.

Her interests have included stereotactic radiation using both Cyberknife and Truebeam technology. She became board certified in Palliative Care after many years of interest and research in the psychosocial and spiritual aspects of cancer. Her areas of interest include symptom management and optimization of quality of life for patients with serious diagnoses, the role of grief in symptom management, as well as understanding how patients make decisions regarding care in the setting of advanced cancer what is prioritized and what is most meaningful, which she believes allow the treatment team to provide technologically advanced treatment coupled with personalized care in the most beneficial way.

Outside areas of interest include outdoor family adventures, yoga, reading, and working on completion of master’s in theological studies.


Medical School
University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston (1994)
UT Health Science Center at Houston (1995), Internal Medicine
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (1999)

Research Interest

  • Intersectionality of spirituality care and advanced cancer diagnosis and the role of religion/spirituality in end of life care.
  • Social determinants that impact health and disease states and quality of life in setting of serious illness.
  • The role of loss history and grief in coping with diagnosis, treatment and symptom management of cancer.