Dr. Herman Suit
A member of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Dean’s Council, Dr. Herman Suit, Biology 1948, was selected as a 2005 Distinguished Alumnus by the Houston Alumni Organization. Dr. Suit continued a family tradition by attending the University of Houston—his mother and his sister are also UH alumni.
Newsletter Archive
by Noelle Heinze
A tall man with an easy smile and great admiration for the University of Houston, Dr. Herman Suit, Andres Soriano Distinguished Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School and former Chief of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, was recently honored as a 2005 Distinguished Alumnus by the Houston Alumni Organization (HAO).
Dr. Suit was recognized by HAO for his many outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the field of medicine.
After graduating with a biology degree from the University of Houston, he earned his MD from Baylor College of Medicine and then a DPhil from Oxford University in England.
Interested in the use of radiation to treat cancer, Dr. Suit decided to pursue what was then an emerging field of medicine. He joined the staff at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1959, working in both the clinic and the laboratory.
“I studied the use of radiation in patients with cancer because of the potential for eradicating the cancer while preserving, at a near normal functional and cosmetic level, the uninvolved adjacent tissues and structures,” says Dr. Suit. “To cure cancer patients without debilitating surgery is an extremely nice experience.”
Dr. Suit moved in 1970 to Massachusetts with his wife Joan, who has a PhD in microbiology, and joined the faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
When asked to share some of his personal philosophies, Dr. Suit responds that he believes it’s not where you come from but where you are going that matters, and this is what he pays attention to when recruiting for his department.
He also mentions his satisfaction from serving as a mentor to young doctors, particularly doctors who have an interest in working in the research laboratory.
“I encourage people to always ask questions, he says. “You can find answers by asking questions—if you listen, you can learn from everyone.”
© University of Houston 2005