Martin A. Schwartz, the newly named Robert Berliner Professor of Cardiology, is a noted cardiovascular researcher whose studies of cell adhesion and behavior has led to new insights into arthrosclerosis and heart disease.
A professor of medicine (cardiology) and of cell biology, he is affiliated with the Vascular Biology and Therapeutics Program and a member of the Yale Cardiovascular Research Center (YCVRC). He is an expert in integrin signaling and mechanotrnsduction, or how cells respond to mechanical forces. His lab’s main interest is in how fluid shear stress — the friction of flowing blood against the endothelium cells — regulate their behavior, including how increased flow leads to the growth of new arteries. His other research interests include vascular remodeling, integrin signaling, extracellular matrix, cell-cell junctions, and mechanotransduction. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles on these and other research subjects for professional publications, including Nature, Science, the Journal of Cell Biology, and more.
Schwartz earned a B.A. in chemistry from New College in Sarasota, Florida, and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Stanford University. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the laboratory of Richard Hynes. He joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1983, where he was among the first to report that integrin mediated adhesion could regulate signaling pathways in cells. In 1991, he moved to the Scripps Research Institute, where he continued his work on integrin signaling with an emphasis on endothelial cell biology. From 2002 to 2011, when he joined the Yale faculty, he was a professor at the University of Virginia.
At Yale, Schwartz is part of a team of researchers at YCVRC who received a five-year, $9.5 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health), to study the molecular basis of arteriogenesis — the process by which new arterial blood vessels are formed — with the aim of developing a new framework for drug discovery and other therapeutic advances.