Elizabeth Joyce Holway Allsworth, 47, a retired research deitian at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, died of cancer Thursday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

She had started work at NIH in 1953, and then went to Japan in the late 1950s, when her husband, Harry G. Allsworth, now retired from the Central Intelligence Agency, was assigned there.

Mrs. Allsworth returned to NIH in 1960 and remained in the Clinical Center until retiring in 1975. She was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, with the rank of commander.

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Mrs. Allsworth earned a bachelor's degree in home economics from Seton Hill College in Greensburg, Pa. She served a dietetic intership at the Public Health Service Hospital in Staten Island N.Y., in 1952-53.

She was a member of the American Dietetic Association, a former board member of the Seton Hill College Alumnae Association and a past president of the Seton Hill College Alumnae Club of Washington.

In addition to her husband, of the home in Potomac, she is survived by her mother, Marie K. Holway, of Youngstown; four brothers, Robert G. Jr., of Miami, Fla., Richard J., of Cleveland, Ohio, James C. of Charlotte, N.C., and John A. Holway, of Atlanta, Ga., and three sisters, Margaret DeOre, of Dallas, Tex., Katherine Kelley, of Greensburg, and Marie Scott, of Cape Coral, Fla.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Sisster de Chantal Scholarship Fund at Seton Hill College.