Priscilla Cushman

University of Minnesota

Contact Details

University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN


Priscilla Cushman graduated from Harvard in 1976 with a degree in Physics and Philosophy.  She worked for four years in industry before moving to Fermilab for her Ph.D. (Rutgers, 1985) on hyperon magnetic moments. Her research has spanned all three HEP frontiers; at CERN as a postdoc on the UA6 experiment in direct photon physics, then at Brookhaven as a Yale assistant professor on the g-2 experiment, and finally at the University of Minnesota, first on the CMS experiment at the LHC and now on direct dark matter detection with CDMS.  As manager of the CMS HCAL readout system, she designed and deployed the multi-channel hybrid photodiode system.  She joined CDMS in 2001when it first moved to the Soudan Mine from Stanford, and was elected spokesperson in 2018 as the experiment begins its new phase at SNOLAB.  She is a world expert in low background techniques in general, founding member of the Low Radiation Techniques workshop,  PI of the AARM consortium (Assay and Acquisition of Radiopure Materials), and the SuperCDMS L2 manager in charge of low background shielding.   Her recent analysis efforts center on low mass WIMPs and an effective field theory approach to WIMP-nucleon scattering as a means to reconcile tensions between complementary targets. She has participated in the HEP planning process for many years, serving on HEPAP, NSERC, AAAC (chair 2014/5), NSAC, and convening two of the SNOWMASS sessions (dark matter and underground facilities).   She is a fellow of the APS and the AAAS, and has served on the Fermilab Research Alliance board of directors.  She is currently the chair of the APS DPF.