Susan Parkhurst, Ph.D.

faculty member

Susan Parkhurst, Ph.D.

Basic Sciences Division, Fred Hutch

Mark Groudine Chair for Outstanding Achievements in Science and Service
Fred Hutch

Fax: 206.667.6497
Mail Stop: A1-162

Dr. Susan Parkhurst studies the cytoskeleton, the cell’s internal framework. The cytoskeleton is a dynamic structure, constantly forming and breaking down to meet the cell’s changing needs, including changes in shape and movement. Problems with building and deconstructing the cytoskeleton arise in many human diseases. Wound healing, in which cells move to fill a gap, and the organization of the nucleus, the cell’s DNA storeroom, rely on the cytoskeleton. Dr. Parkhurst studies its roles in these normal conditions and what goes wrong in cancer cells. She aims to identify new cancer treatment targets or discover ways to make existing therapies more effective.

Other Appointments & Affiliations

Affiliate Professor, Biology
University of Washington


Postdoctoral Fellow, Developmental Genetics, California Institute of Technology, 1990

Postdoctoral Fellow, Developmental Genetics, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Oxford UK, 1986

Ph.D., Developmental Biology, Johns Hopkins University, 1985

B.A., Biology, Johns Hopkins University, 1982

Research Interests

A hallmark of many diseases and cancers is a dysfunctional cytoskeleton. A properly functioning cytoskeleton is needed for a wide variety of cellular events ranging from cell shape to cell signaling and migration/metastasis. We use multidisciplinary approaches to study these dynamic structural elements in various processes including wound repair and nuclear architecture/organization. The goal of the Parkhurst Lab is to understand the role of these elements in regulating normal developmental events and how this regulation goes awry in diseases/cancers, thereby providing new avenues for possible therapeutic targets or to enhance the effectiveness of existing treatment modalities.

"If you want to fix something, you need to know what the underlying principles are, what went wrong, and what options you have to make it right."

— Dr. Susan Parkhurst

Find A Clinical Trial

Dr. Parkhurst in the News

Spiraling inward to heal: a new mechanism for wound closure

Science Spotlight - February 20, 2023

Pavarotti’s (actin) debut

Science Spotlight - August 17, 2020

Good Ol' Fat: Fat accumulation and longevity in yeast

Science Spotlight - July 20, 2020

(Wash)ing the nuclear envelope

Science Spotlight - March 16, 2020

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with faculty.

Email or call 206.667.2210