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Susan Braunhut

Susan J. Braunhut, Ph.D. Professor, Distinguished University Professor


Radiation Therapy and Medical Countermeasures for Radiological Terrorism; Development of Novel Cancer Treatments and Biosensors for Toxicity Testing and Cancer Diagnosis

Research Interest

Scientists in my laboratory are devising new technologies to allow the rapid diagnosis of cancer and assess the risk of metastasis. In addition, we are testing new approaches to treatment of cancer using chemotherapeutic agents, ionizing radiation and hyperthermia. We are currently developing methods that will assist oncologists in predicting whether or not a particular cancer will respond to a given therapy. Using the tools of cell culture, biochemistry and immunology we are searching for new therapies that will shut-down blood supply to tumors or trigger apoptosis, programmed cell death, of tumor cells taken from patients or experimental animals.

Educational Background

B.A., Physiological Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, 1974
M.A., Physiological Psychology, Hartford University, Hartford CT, 1977
M.A., Pathobiology, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1980 
Ph.D., Pathobiology, Columbia University, New York, NY, 1982


Braunhut has supported her independent research laboratory since 1986 through extramural funding acquisition from federal sources (DOD, DARPA, NIH, NSF) while teaching and performing service at the university and within the community. Braunhut has worked continuously in the areas of cancer therapy and diagnosis, radiobiology and biosensors. Her current laboratory includes full-time research staff and undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students conducting research in these areas. Braunhut serves as a reviewer for three national study sections and reviews manuscripts for numerous journals. Her work has been published in nationally recognized and international journals. 

Braunhut was elected University Professor in September 2008. The title of University Professor is the most esteemed title bestowed on faculty at UMass Lowell. The honor recognizes an individual who, over a period of years, has consistently demonstrated exemplary teaching, nationally significant research, and extraordinary service to the university community. The professorship ran from September 2008 through August 2011. She became a Fulbright Scholar in 2011 and serves now as a Fulbright scholar review panelists. She is also a Aspen Institute Scholar. 

Braunhut is a member of the faculty development committee at UMass Lowell. The committee activities foster interdisciplinary communities within and across departments and colleges, leading to an engaged faculty and to inspire and assist the faculty to realize their highest potential for teaching, research, scholarship, and service throughout a productive career.