Julie K. Schwarz, MD, PhD
Director, Cancer Biology Division
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology
- BS, Biology: Duke University, Durham, NC (1995)
- MD/PhD, Cell and Molecular Biology: Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (2004)
- Internship, Internal Medicine: Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO (2005)
- Residency, Radiation Oncology: Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO (2009)
- Certified by the American Board of Radiology in Radiation Oncology (2010)
- Michael Fry Research Award for Outstanding Junior Investigator: Radiation Research Society (2012)
- Fellow: National Cancer Care Network (2008)
- RSNA Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award (2008)
Julie Schwarz, MD, PhD, is a tenured associate professor in radiation oncology. She is a physician-scientist who sees and treats women with locally advanced cervical cancer. Dr. Schwarz completed her medical degree and PhD as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Washington University School of Medicine in 2004. She joined the faculty in 2009 after completing residency in radiation oncology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine. Currently, Dr. Schwarz serves as Director of Resident Research Program and Director of Cancer Biology Division (Interim) in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Her areas of clinical practice and research interest include gynecologic oncology, cervical cancer, thyroid cancer, molecular imaging and biomarker development. Dr. Schwarz served as section chair at the NCI Future of Radiobiology Workshop and is an active member of the ASTRO/NCI Radiobiology Consensus Workshop, AACR Radiation Oncology Think Tank, AACR Radiation Science & Medicine Working Group and the ASTRO Community of Radiation Oncology Physician Scientists.
Dr. Schwarz is an R01 funded investigator. Her laboratory research includes large scale studies using human tumor specimens to study the biologic pathways that regulate treatment response in cervical cancer. These studies have employed gene expression, micro-RNA expression and genomic analyses. She has identified alterations in expression of genes from the PI3K/Akt pathway that are associated with treatment response in cervical cancer. Most recently, she has identified genomic mutations in PIK3CA and PTEN that are associated with treatment response and glucose uptake. She is currently studying how these alterations influence cervical cancer glucose metabolism and how metabolic differences may influence the response to radiation and chemotherapy.
Dr. Schwarz performs clinical research that focuses on the use of post-therapy FDG-PET imaging as an indicator of response to chemo-radiation therapy. The majority of these studies focused on cervical cancer, which has no reliable molecular biomarker for the evaluation of treatment response. These studies were instrumental in establishing the 3 month post-therapy FDG-PET scan as a reliable tool for monitoring treatment response and integrating this strategy into routine practice for cervical cancer patients.