New Chief of Hematology/Oncology Named at NYP/Columbia

Dr. Gary Schwartz is a leading cancer researcher with expertise in drug development; formerly led melanoma and sarcoma service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering

Jan 6, 2014


NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center has named leading physician-scientist Dr. Gary Schwartz chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Medicine and associate director for research of its Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. He assumed his new role on January 1, 2014.

At the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Schwartz will lead the expansion of clinical research and patient care, with a focus on building a comprehensive team of physicians and scientists to conduct research on the full spectrum of cancers and to bring the resulting advances to patients. He also will continue his research on improving ways to treat melanoma, sarcoma, and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, his areas of expertise and clinical specialty.

"We are very excited to welcome Dr. Schwartz," said Dr. Stephen Emerson, director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Immunology (in Medicine) and professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University Medical Center. "He brings an unparalleled background in translational and clinical research, including the development and testing of new anticancer drugs. Dr. Schwartz will be an invaluable asset in our research efforts, from the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cancer, through its unique behavior in different tissues, to statistical aspects of its occurrence and treatment in large populations."

"Patients will benefit greatly from Dr. Schwartz's expertise, not only in the treatment of melanoma, sarcoma, and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, but also a wide variety of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, through his focus on novel agents with activity against fundamental mechanisms of cancer," said Dr. Donald W. Landry, physician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and the Samuel Bard Professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. "Further, he brings a keen sense of compassion and commitment to patient-centered practice, personifying all that we strive for in clinical care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia."

Dr. Schwartz joins NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he was chief of the melanoma and sarcoma service. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering, he also directed the Laboratory of New Drug Development, leading and supporting laboratory research in anticancer therapies ranging from fundamental basic research, to novel phase I clinical trials, to molecularly targeted treatments of organ-specific cancers. His studies are aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying cell cycle and cell death, in order to improve the effectiveness of currently available treatments. His laboratory programs have been supported by the National Cancer Institute with R01 and Sarcoma SPORE grants. Many drugs that originated in his lab are now being evaluated in clinical trials.

Dr. Schwartz has worked on a number of review committees for the National Institutes of Health and has served on the editorial boards of various scientific journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research, of which he is currently an associate editor. Dr. Schwartz has authored nearly 200 papers and 17 book chapters.

He is a current or past member of numerous professional societies, including the American Association of Cancer Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group and Radiotherapy Oncology Group, the Cancer and Leukemia Group B and is currently the co-Chair of the Experimental Therapeutics Committee of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology.

Dr. Schwartz is the recipient of many awards, including the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Burdha Award for Colon Cancer Research, Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Research Award, the Jeannik M. Littlefield – AACR Award in Metastatic Colon Cancer, and the New York State Teaching Award in the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program, as well as many teaching awards from Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

After receiving his medical degree from Albany Medical College of Union University, Dr. Schwartz completed a residency at North Shore University Hospital and a fellowship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine.

"I am thrilled to be joining the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NYP/Columbia," said Dr. Schwartz. "As a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, the Herbert Irving Cancer Center has some of the premier scientists, clinicians and facilities in the country. I hope to be able to tap into the extraordinary resources and talent here to turn scientific breakthroughs into state-of-the-art cancer treatments."

The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center encompasses preclinical and clinical research, treatment, prevention, and population-based education efforts in cancer. The Cancer Center was initially funded by the National Cancer Institute in 1972 and became an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in 1979. Cancer Center researchers and physicians are dedicated to understanding the biology of cancer and to applying that knowledge to the design of cancer therapies and prevention strategies that reduce its incidence and progression and improve the quality of life of those affected by cancer. For more information, visit

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit or

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive hospitals, with some 2,600 beds. In 2012, the Hospital had nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits, including 12,758 deliveries and 275,592 visits to its emergency departments. NewYork-Presbyterian's 6,144 affiliated physicians and 20,154 staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at six major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit

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