Edward Schwarz, Ph.D., to head The Center for Musculoskeletal Research

Dec. 14, 2011
Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D.

Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D., the Burton Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, has been appointed to the additional role of director of URMC’s Center for Musculoskeletal Research (CMSR).

Schwarz replaces Regis J. O’Keefe, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedics, who remains chair but was recently named Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at URMC.

As Center Director, Schwarz will report directly to School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean Mark B. Taubman, M.D., who noted that Schwarz brings many assets to the CMSR.

“Eddie understands every aspect of research, from the laboratory to the clinic and to the marketplace, and has proven himself to be a true leader in Orthopaedics. I am thrilled to begin working with him in this new capacity,” Taubman said.

Schwarz has served as Associate Director of the CMSR during a time of tremendous change, which will allow for a smooth transition. His primary mission will be to sustain the CMSR’s leadership role. “We have an outstanding team,” Schwarz said, “and my focus will be to maintain that in an era of consolidation and cuts in biomedical research.”

In recent years the CMSR has expanded and restructured in several important ways. Among them, Schwarz said, was the establishment of core services in histology, biochemistry, molecular imaging, biomechanics, and multimodal tissue imaging. Another key achievement was to win a federal training grant for the development of young investigators.

The CMSR has many projects and grants on the horizon in 2012, Schwarz said. He also is writing a strategic plan for the CMSR, which will guide and identify opportunities as the health care industry moves toward a new era of comparative effectiveness research. That will entail a greater emphasis on research that measures and compares tests, drugs, and surgeries used in orthopaedics to determine the best ways to treat patients and prevent infections.

In addition to leading the CMSR, Schwarz operates a laboratory that focuses on finding solutions to bone loss due to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, infections, tumors that spread to bone, and bone destruction near the implants used in reconstructive surgery. He also leads a project to develop a vaccine to prevent life-threatening methicillin-resistant staphylococcus (MRSA) infections following bone and joint surgery.

Schwarz earned doctorate and master’s degrees in immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, and a bachelor’s in biology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Since 2000 the CMSR has ranked among the top five National Institutes of Health-funded musculoskeletal programs in the country. The Center was created in 2000 to formalize a 25-year history of multidisciplinary, comprehensive research into musculoskeletal health at URMC. The CMSR is comprised of highly integrated faculty from a variety of URMC departments outside of orthopaedics, including Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, and Medicine (Rheumatology and Endocrinology). Much of its success is due to a programmatic design, an emphasis on collaboration, and the diverse research interests of the faculty.

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