It is estimated that 1.7 million people suffer from some form of traumatic brain injury every year and the effects of these traumas can last for days, weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime. As a leader in the field of head and lung trauma and their impact on the human body, Dr. Susan Margulies is making great strides in understanding how our bodies respond to trauma.
Margulies earned a BSE degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University following up with an MSE and doctorate in bioengineering, both from the University of Pennsylvania. Joining the Mayo Clinic and Foundation as part of the Thoracic Diseases Division in 1987, she worked in research until also adding instructor then assistant professor to her responsibilities.
In 1993 she returned to the University of Pennsylvania as an assistant professor in the Bioengineering Department of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. In 2002 she added a secondary appointment in the Neurosurgery Department of the School of Medicine and two years later she was promoted to full professor in both departments.
As the Principal Investigator at the Injury Biomechanics Lab at Penn, her research goal is to determine functional and structural injury thresholds in the brain and lung and use these to understand mechanisms of traumatic brain and lung injury. She also leads her team in studies of the biomedical and molecular biology of injured cells facilitation of the development of preventive and therapeutic measures. Currently the lab’s findings are being used in the areas of ventilator-induced lung damage and traumatic head injury in adults and children.
In her lab not only does cutting edge research occur but she also mentors students, from undergraduates to post-doctoral clinicians. These trainees come from varying disciples and are on a wide range of career paths including research in industry and academia, start-up companies, and engineering consulting. As a mentor Dr. Margulies has received awards for excellence in teaching and advising and gives her time as a participant in faculty panels at Penn’s Career Services and Center for Teaching and Learning.
Written by Angela Goad