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Schwartz Accepts Research Position in Denver

By Eddy Ball
March 2008

Former NIEHS Director David Schwartz
Former NIEHS Director David Schwartz (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Former NIEHS Director David Schwartz, M.D., will end his three-year tenure with the Institute in May to assume a research position with the National Jewish Medical and Research Center (NJMRC) in Denver, Colo. In his new position, Schwartz will serve as director of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division and lead a new Center for Genetics and Therapeutics. He replaces Acting Head Kevin Brown, M.D.

Schwartz became the fourth director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program in May, 2005, succeeding Ken Olden, Ph.D. Schwartz oversaw several new initiatives while serving as director, including the five-year Strategic Plan, start-up of NIH Roadmap Initiatives on epigenetics and gene-environment interaction, and the soon-to-be opened Clinical Research Center on the Institute's Research Triangle Park campus.

Before joining NIEHS, Schwartz was the director of the Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Division and vice chair of research in the Department of Medicine at Duke University. At Duke, Schwartz was an NIEHS grantee and played a principal role in developing three interdisciplinary centers in environmental health sciences, environmental genomics and environmental asthma.

Schwartz has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed research papers, 38 book chapters and a textbook. He has served on numerous editorial boards and scientific review committees including, most recently, the NIH/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's Innovative Grant Program Review Committee and the Veterans Administration Merit Review Board. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians and the recipient of many awards. The American Thoracic Society presented Schwartz with a Scientific Accomplishment Award in 2003.

In a statement released on February 8 after Schwartz tendered his resignation, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni, M.D., said, "He is one of the world's leading researchers in pulmonary medicine, and I have the utmost respect for his scientific abilities and his scientific vision for the future of environmental health research. Dr. Schwartz's new position will enable him to further that vision, while providing him more opportunities to conduct research and care for patients."

According to NJMRC, Schwartz' new position will also involve overseeing work funded by NIH grants to physicians in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division ( Exit NIEHS Website. The division is highly respected among physicians and scientists in the pulmonary and critical care communities. It recently assumed responsibility for the intensive care unit and hospitalist care at nearby HealthOne Rose Medical Center.

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