Joann Sweasy, PhD

Director, University of Arizona Cancer Center
Associate Director, Basic Sciences, University of Arizona Cancer Center

University of Arizona Health Sciences

Joann Sweasy, PhD, is the director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

She is also the associate director for basic sciences at the UArizona Cancer Center, and holds a faculty position at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson in the Departments of Cellular and Molecular Medicine and Radiation Oncology

Dr. Sweasy’s research focuses on genomic instability and how it leads to mutations that result in human diseases, such as cancer. A major focus of her laboratory is to understand how single nucleotide polymorphisms found in DNA repair genes, including genes that function in homology-directed repair, non-homologous end-joining and base-excision repair in the germline and somatic tissues impact cancer risk and treatment.

Prior to joining the Cancer Center, Dr. Sweasy was associate director for basic sciences and co-leader of the Radiobiology and Radiotherapy Program at the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she had oversight of pilot funding for the Yale Cancer Center and all cancer-focused internal grant competitions at Yale University. She also is an adjunct professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of Vermont.

Dr. Sweasy received her doctorate in microbiology at Rutgers University and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Washington. After joining Yale University School of Medicine in 1993, she rose through the ranks to become the Ensign Professor of Therapeutic Radiology and Associate Director for Basic Sciences at the Yale Cancer Center.