Ruth J. Muschel, M.D., Ph.D. ‘78

The Distinguished Ph.D. Alumnus Award

Dr. Ruth Muschel is currently an emeritus professor of molecular pathology in the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom where she previously served as the deputy director of the Oxford Institute of Radiation Oncology. Her research has focused on the processes of cancer metastasis and tumor response to therapy including radiation therapy. She and her colleagues have examined how metastasizing cancer cells interact with the vasculature, immune cells and the extracellular matrix and has shown that interactions of metastatic cells with platelets in the bloodstream are critical for enabling metastasis. Her team has found that cancer cells can be sensitized to ionizing radiation by inhibiting RAS signaling, a process that involves alterations in tumor vasculature and tumor oxygenation. Dr. Muschel has held editorial positions on many publications, including as the editor of Cancer Letters from 1997 to 2006, and served on numerous boards and committees for professional associations in the field of cancer research. She has published hundreds of articles and has received multiple awards, including the John M. Yuhas Award for Excellence in Radiobiology Research. Dr. Muschel has lectured extensively worldwide and has served as principal or co–principal investigator on numerous grants. After earning her B.A. with honors in biochemistry at Cornell University and her M.D. and Ph.D. at Einstein, Dr. Muschel completed her specialty training in anatomic pathology at Columbia University and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, MD. She worked on staff at the NCI and then took an academic position at the University of Pennsylvania, where she advanced to the rank of professor, before moving to Oxford.