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David Schwartz, MD, Hired to Lead Pulmonary and Critical Care Division


David A. Schwartz, MD, one of the most foremost experts in the genetics of pulmonary disease, will join the National Jewish Medical and Research Center to develop and lead an interdisciplinary program dedicated to understanding the genetics of complex lung and immune-mediated conditions. Dr. Schwartz will serve as director of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division and will also lead a new Center for Genetics and Therapeutics.


“David’s expertise and his vision for genomics and the coming era of personalized medicine made him an ideal candidate,” said Michael Salem, MD, President and CEO. “David will be a vital addition to our team.”

"I am honored to step into this leadership position, and look forward to working with the outstanding physicians and scientists at National Jewish and throughout the Denver community," said Dr. Schwartz.

Dr. Schwartz has previously served as Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program where he developed programs in environmental genetics and translational research. Prior to his work at the NIH, he served as 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, Dr. Schwartz played a principal role in developing three interdisciplinary centers in environmental health sciences, environmental genomics, and environmental asthma.

Dr. Schwartz received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Rochester in 1975, his MD from the University of California-San Diego in 1979, and his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health in 1985.

Dr. Schwartz is a nationally recognized researcher and practicing physician who has specialized in environmental and occupational lung disease. He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed research papers, 50 book chapters, and a textbook. He has made fundamental discoveries about the biological and genetic factors that contribute to chronic pulmonary diseases, such as asthma and interstitial lung disease. He has served on numerous study sections, is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of the American Physicians. In 2003, he received the American Thoracic Society Scientific Achievement Award.

"We are thrilled to have a physician-scientist of David's caliber lead our prestigious pulmonary and critical care division, particularly as we expand, and continue to launch new initiatives," said Richard Martin, MD, Chairman of Medicine at National Jewish.

"Dr Schwartz's experience creating interdisciplinary centers will be invaluable as he jump starts our Center for Genetics and Therapeutics," said Greg Downey, MD, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs.

The Center for Genetics and Therapeutics is one of three institutional pillars that underpin a 10-year strategic plan approved by the National Jewish Board of Directors in 2007. The center will seek new scientific discoveries about genetic causes of diseases and work to develop those into new diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities.

“The Center will help us understand how genes work in biological systems, how genetic variants contribute to the development of disease, and why individuals with the same disease have very different clinical outcomes,” said Dr. Schwartz. “These discoveries will allow clinicians to more effectively diagnose problems in their patients and to target therapy to reduce risk and enhance the response. I can’t wait to get started.”

Dr. Schwartz, who will begin his tenure at National Jewish this spring, will also oversee the growing and highly respected Pulmonary and Critical Care Division at National Jewish. National Jewish has been named the best respiratory hospital in the nation for 10 years running by U.S. News & World Report. Its physicians see patients from around the world and are involved in major research initiatives funded by the National Institutes of Health and other government and private agencies. The division has recently assumed responsibility for the intensive care unit and hospitalist care at nearby HealthOne Rose Medical Center, and extended its reach with an expanded presence at National Jewish at East Denver and National Jewish Highlands Ranch.


National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

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