Jacob C. Schwartz appointed associate director of Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination

Oct. 20, 2023
Jacob C. Schwartz, PhD

Jacob C. Schwartz, PhD, has been appointed to serve as the Associate Director of Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination for the University of Arizona Cancer Center, a position that was left vacant after the retirement of Margaret Briehl, PhD, in June.

“We’re fortunate to have Dr. Schwartz joining the team,” said Cancer Center Director Joann Sweasy, PhD. “His enthusiasm is infectious and that’s exactly what we need in a leader who will engage with students, staff, and faculty at various points in their career development.”

Dr. Sweasy said that establishing an office with the mission to educate future cancer researchers is not only essential to ensure a future pool of cancer researchers and leaders, but also a required component of maintaining the cancer center’s funding through its NCI Cancer Center Support Grant.

“I’m honored for this unique opportunity to invest in cancer education and training for all career levels in the Cancer Center and extending to schools in the five counties and tribal communities of Southern Arizona.”

The Schwartz Laboratory studies transcription regulation associated with RNA-binding proteins, which holds potential for translation into therapeutic approaches. Dr. Schwartz obtained a PhD in Biophysics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and studied under Dr. David Corey transcription regulation by nucleic acids and nucleic acid mimics.

He did postdoctoral training in the lab of Dr. Tom Cech at the University of Colorado Boulder and studied transcription regulation by an RNA-binding protein through an assembly process known as phase separation. He was awarded the Al Gilman award, two NIH National Research Service Awards, and an NIH K99 Pathway to Independence award.

Dr. Schwartz is now a research associate professor in the College of Medicine Department of Pharmacology. His research program is funded by the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation, and Research: Innovation and Impact Internal Funding Program. Dr. Schwartz joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arizona in 2014. He was named a 2015 Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to teaching a wide range of undergraduate and graduate life science courses, he has been a research mentor to 28 undergraduate and 10 PhD and Master’s students.