George J. Schwartz, M.D.

George J. Schwartz, M.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 777
Rochester, NY 14642

Office: (585) 275-9784
Fax: (585) 756-8054

Research Bio

Dr. Schwartz' research interests are:
1) Molecular physiology of acid-base disturbances
2) Kidney tubular acidosis
3) Disorders of sodium, potassium, and magnesium transport
4) Carbonic anhydrase deficiency diseases
5) Assessment of kidney function (glomerular filtration rate)

The long term goal is to determine how intercalated cells of the kidney cortical collecting duct (CCD) sense a change in extracellular pH and adapt by reversing their polarity of H+/HCO3 transporters. After exposure to a 3 h incubation at pH 6.8, rabbit CCDs, which normally secrete HCO3, reverse polarity, secrete H+ and endocytically remove apical Cl/HCO3 exchangers to stop HCO3 secretion. The novel protein hensin is expressed in the extracellular matrix (ECM) surrounding adapting HCO3-secreting intercalated cells (B-ICs) and plays a key role in this adaptation.

Aim 1 determines the mechanisms by which polymerized hensin is deposited in the ECM and how hensin signals the adaptation of B-ICs during metabolic acidosis. Other proteins interacting with hensin include integrins, galectin 3, and cyclophilin A (cyp A); these proteins may be regulated by acid-base disturbances and hensin polymerization. Cyclosporin (CsA) causes renal tubular acidosis and inhibits cyp A peptidyl prolyl isomerase activity. To assess CsA's effect, cultured intercalated cells are plated at high density in the presence of CsA and examined for hensin polymerization in the media and ECM. A cyp A "knockdown" model using siRNAs will be examined similarly; to determine if hensin fails to polymerize without this isomerase activity.

Aim 2 examines the adaptation of CCD ICs to metabolic alkalosis regarding proteins of the hensin pathway and investigates if in vitro alkalosis can reverse the adaptation occurring in response to in vivo metabolic acidosis.

Aim 3 addresses early events in response to metabolic acidosis. Our data suggest that low cell pH is the signal to initiate the adaptation; the role of the adjacent principal cell in this signaling will be determined. We will show whether low pH stimulates endothelin-1 and nitric oxide, and whether they mediate changes in HCO3 transport during acidosis. The early steps of tyrosine phosphorylation and c-Src activation in response to low pH will also be examined.

These studies will illustrate how ICs respond to acid-base perturbations and change functional polarity.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Ruth A. Lawrence Academic Faculty Service Award in Training | Golisano Children's Hospital 2012 - 2013
Listed in: Guide to America's Top Pediatricians 2006
Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology 2004 - Present
Fellow of the American Heart Association (Inaugural fellow of the Council on the Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease) 2003 - Present
Best Doctors, Inc. 2002 - Present
Specialist in Clinical Hypertension | American Society of Hypertension 1999 - Present
AMA Physician's Recognition Award 1977 - 1980
Magna Cum Laude | Colgate University 1968
Dana Scholar | Colgate University 1968
Phi Beta Kappa | Colgate University 1968
High Honors in Major (Chemistry) | Colgate University 1968
Honorary Journalism Society | Colgate University 1966 - 1968
Honorary Mathematics Society (KME) | Colgate University 1966 - 1968

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 118 available »

2013 May 7
Chambrey R, Kurth I, Peti-Peterdi J, Houillier P, Purkerson JM, Leviel F, Hentschke M, Zdebik AA, Schwartz GJ, Hübner CA, Eladari D. "Renal intercalated cells are rather energized by a proton than a sodium pump." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2013 May 7; 110(19):7928-33. Epub 2013 Apr 22.
2013 Apr
Oleksyn D, Pulvino M, Zhao J, Misra R, Vosoughi A, Jenks S, Tipton C, Lund F, Schwartz G, Goldman B, Mohan C, Mehta K, Mehta M, Leitgets M, Sanz I, Chen L. "Protein kinase C? is required for lupus development in Sle mice." Arthritis and rheumatism. 2013 Apr; 65(4):1022-31.
2013 Mar 5
Fuhrman DY, Maier PS, Schwartz GJ. "Rapid assessment of renal reserve in young adults by cystatin C." Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation. 2013 Mar 5; Epub 2013 Mar 05.
2012 Oct
Alvarez O, Miller ST, Wang WC, Luo Z, McCarville MB, Schwartz GJ, Thompson B, Howard T, Iyer RV, Rana SR, Rogers ZR, Sarnaik SA, Thornburg CD, Ware RE, . "Effect of hydroxyurea treatment on renal function parameters: results from the multi-center placebo-controlled BABY HUG clinical trial for infants with sickle cell anemia." Pediatric blood & cancer. 2012 Oct; 59(4):668-74. Epub 2012 Jan 31.
2012 Aug
Schwartz GJ, Schneider MF, Maier PS, Moxey-Mims M, Dharnidharka VR, Warady BA, Furth SL, Muñoz A. "Improved equations estimating GFR in children with chronic kidney disease using an immunonephelometric determination of cystatin C." Kidney international. 2012 Aug; 82(4):445-53.

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Nephrology (SMD) - Primary


Pediatric Nephrology - American Board of Pediatrics
Pediatrics - American Board of Pediatrics


MD | Medicine | Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine1972
AB | Chemistry | Colgate University1968

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology at Albert Einstein Medical Center07/01/1974 - 06/30/1976
Residency in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia07/01/1973 - 06/30/1974
Internship in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia07/01/1972 - 06/30/1973