Robert Schwartz, MD, Emeritus
Dr. Schwartz is an alumnus of PS #138 (1949), Midwood High School (1953), Dartmouth College (1957), and the University of Rochester (1962). After an internship/residency in Medicine and Pediatrics at Strong Memorial Hospital (1962-1964), he became an NIH clinical associate (1964-1966), conducting clinical research and caring for infants, children, and young adults with cystic fibrosis. He completed Pediatric residency at Babies Hospital in New York City (1966-1967) and fellowship in Pediatric Allergy & Immunology in Rochester, New York (1967-1969). While director of the Cystic Fibrosis Care, Teaching and Resource Center (1967 to 1985), his NIH-funded research was in epidemiology and genetics of childhood chronic respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, asthma, and alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. In collaboration with international investigators, his genealogic and genetic field work contributed to understanding the cystic fibrosis gene locus and its genotype variants. Working with Hutterite, Mennonite, and Amish kindreds of North America, Dr. Schwartz and his collaborators found that the Hutterite kindred had two cystic fibrosis genetic variants, making it possible for them to chose and perhaps achieve early control of cystic fibrosis.In 1985, Dr. Schwartz and Dr. John Condemi left their full-time tenured academic positions and founded AAIR (Allergy, Asthma, Immunology of Rochester), a major allergy training locus for residents in both Pediatrics and Medicine. While at AAIR, Bob conducted clinical research in the areas of Pediatric Asthma and Food Allergy.
Dr. Schwartz is a former director of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology (1978-1983) and co-director of the Allergy & Immunology residency training program in Rochester (1970-1985) and editor-in-chief of Pediatric Asthma Allergy & Immunology (1996-1999). He has published 100 papers and 80 abstracts in medical journals. He has been the principal investigator in NIH-funded study grants and contracts and has been the principal investigator and sub-investigator in many pharmaceutical company-sponsored drug study trials.
He has continued his commitment to medical education and has conducted clinical teaching electives for most pediatric residents and the pediatric allergy/immunology required rotations for all allergy/immunology trainees. These physicians are now practicing in both academic and community settings in this country. Bob’s own mentors include his father, Dr. Emanuel Schwartz who practiced allergy in Brooklyn, New York, and Dr. John H. Vaughan with whom he took “a year out” medical school fellowship. Dr. Paul A. diSant’Agnese taught him the importance of both sweat and tears. Dr. Douglas E. Johnstone taught him it is possible to both practice Allergy and contribute to medical knowledge. Dr. John J. Condemi continues to be his role model. Bob’s last research focus was to identify the genetic and immunologic processes to answer the question,”Why are infants with cow’s milk allergy especially prone to develop asthma.”
Bob retired from AAIR practice in 2002 but continued to teach allergy fellows in the Allergy Clinic of the U of R and to do clinical research until 2007 when he moved to Portland, Oregon to be near his family, including five grandchildren, and to enjoy the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest.
In 2003 Bob was the recipient of the Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). Since moving to Portland, Oregon he has continued his volunteer activities. In 2009 he and his colleague, Dr. Raj Srinivasan (former Rochester Allergy/Immunology trainee) started the Allergy/Asthma Clinic at The Children’s Community Clinic for underserved and underinsured children. He also has a teaching appointment as Affiliate Professor in Pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Dr. Schwartz is also Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Golisano Children’s Hospital and the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York.