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. 125 available »

2014 May
Schwartz GJ. "Height: the missing link in estimating glomerular filtration rate in children and adolescents." Nephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association. 2014 May; 29(5):944-7. Epub 2014 Feb 09.
2014 Feb
Portale AA, Wolf M, J├╝ppner H, Messinger S, Kumar J, Wesseling-Perry K, Schwartz GJ, Furth SL, Warady BA, Salusky IB. "Disordered FGF23 and mineral metabolism in children with CKD." Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN. 2014 Feb; 9(2):344-53. Epub 2013 Dec 05.
2014 Jan 28
Ng DK, Jacobson LP, Brown TT, Palella FJ, Martinson JJ, Bolan R, Miller ER, Schwartz GJ, Abraham AG, Estrella MM. "HIV therapy, metabolic and cardiovascular health are associated with glomerular hyperfiltration among men with and without HIV infection." AIDS. 2014 Jan 28; 28(3):377-86.
Margolick JB, Jacobson LP, Schwartz GJ, Abraham AG, Darilay AT, Kingsley LA, Witt MD, Palella FJ. "Factors affecting glomerular filtration rate, as measured by iohexol disappearance, in men with or at risk for HIV infection." PloS one. 2014 9(2):e86311. Epub 2014 Feb 07.
2013 Jul 1
Vijayakumar S, Peng H, Schwartz GJ. "Galectin-3 mediates oligomerization of secreted hensin using its carbohydrate-recognition domain." American journal of physiology. Renal physiology. 2013 Jul 1; 305(1):F90-9. Epub 2013 May 08.

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