University of Nebraska Medical Center

Joann B. Sweasy, PhD

Director, Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
Director, UNMC Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases
Professor, Eppley Institute
Research focus: DNA repair

Joann Sweasy, PhD

Joann Sweasy, PhD, is an internationally recognized expert in the genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry of DNA repair. For the past 25 years her laboratory has been consistently funded by the National Institutes of Health to study the molecular basis of mutagenesis and DNA repair. 

Dr. Sweasy is director of both the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center and the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases. Sweasy is the vice president/president-elect of the American Association of Cancer Institutes.

After joining Yale University School of Medicine in 1993, she rose through the ranks to become a full professor with tenure and was appointed as the Ensign Professor of Therapeutic Radiology. Dr. Sweasy has previously served as vice-chair of the Department of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale University School of Medicine; co-leader of the Radiobiology and Radiotherapy Program and associate director for Basic Sciences at the Yale Cancer Center.

Dr. Sweasy was appointed the permanent director of the University of Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2020 and led the Center to renewal of its NCI Comprehensive designation in 2022.

  • PhD: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: University of Washington

Focus of the Sweasy laboratory:

  • Contributions of human genetic variants of DNA repair genes to diseases including cancer and autoimmunity.
  • Conformational dynamics of DNA polymerases to understand how they synthesize DNA in an error free manner.