Gary K. Schwartz, MD, is Professor of Medicine and current Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology and Associate Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University School of Medicine. He is a recognized leader in the field of translational research and has been able to bridge the clinical and basic science elements of drug development. Previously he was an Attending Physician and Member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Chief of the Melanoma Sarcoma Oncology Service. His clinical focus is in melanoma and sarcoma. He is the Principal Investigator of a series of phase I and II trials that are based on his laboratory studies. His work has extensively been supported by his own peer-reviewed grants. This has included an R01 to develop cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors with chemotherapy, an R01 and a SPORE grant to evaluate combinations of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors of IGF-1R and PDGFR with inhibitors of mTOR in sarcomas, a RAID and an R21 grant to develop the sphingosine kinase inhibitor safingol with cisplatin, a DOD grant to develop the botanical herb huanglian, and an FDA-R01 to develop imatinib for the treatment of patients with c-kit mutant melanomas. He is PI of the Columbia University Minority/Underserved Site NCI Community Oncology Research Program. In addition, he was recently awarded the Team Science Award by the Melanoma Research Alliance to lead a national effort in developing new therapies for patients with ocular melanoma.
His contributions to teaching and mentoring have been recognized by his former fellows, who have awarded him the annual Teaching Award on multiple occasions and by the junior faculty for the Excellence in Mentoring Award. In 2000 and 2006 respectively, he received NCI K24 and K12 Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Awards aimed at the mentoring of medical trainees in translational research. He has mentored several of our leading junior faculty on NCI Career Development Awards.
In addition, he has served on numerous committees for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association of Cancer Research and for the NCI including the NExT committee which has been established to assist the NCI in identifying new agents for drug development. He is co-Chair of the Experimental Therapeutic Committee of the Alliance which has provided a platform for junior faculty to take leadership positions on national clinical trials. He also serves as Vice Chair of ASCO’s Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) Study Molecular Tumor Board. In addition, he has authored or co-authored over 200 manuscripts in the field of both basic and clinical cancer research.