Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

Lawrence Schwartz given named chair in integrative science

UMass.edu

Following a recommendation from Chancellor Robert C. Holub and Provost James V. Staros, Professor of biology Lawrence Schwartz was appointed as the first Eugene M. and Ronnie Isenberg professor of integrative science on Oct. 1. The support for the endowment was part of a gift from 1950 University of Massachusetts graduate Eugene M. Isenberg and his wife Ronnie.

The professorship, which began in 2004, incorporates and merges aspects of life sciences, engineering, entrepreneurship, business and finance. Isenberg’s original vision for the gift was to “complete the original concept of creating a professorship to demonstrate the effectiveness of an integrated approach to science, engineering and management,” according to a release detailing the appointment. Engineering Professor Michael F. Malone holds the title of Ronnie and Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professor of Engineering, while Soren Bisgaard was the Eugene M. Isenberg Professor of Intregative Studies, until his death in Dec. 2009.

Professor Schwartz joined the faculty in 1988 as an assistant professor in zoology, which later merged with botany to form the current biology department. His love for biology extends to when he was a young boy, he explained: “As a little kid, I had a basement laboratory. When I was 13, I got my first microscope. So I guess I was predisposed to be a geek.”

Though Schwartz entered Northwestern University in Illinois as an art history major, he joined a research laboratory and quickly switched majors to biology.

“I wasn’t a good student until I got into a lab, and then it was clear what I really wanted to do. I think we’re all curious about how organisms work. I was no different.”

Following graduation, Schwartz went to the University of Washington in Seattle, where he earned his Ph.D. in zoology, and went on to receive post-doctoral training both at UW and at the University of North Carolina.

“Mike and Soren’s programs were extremely well-received by students. I want to build on their efforts to help bring scientists into entrepreneurship,” says Schwartz.

“We have over 1000 biology majors at the University, and obviously a lot more majors in other areas of natural science,” explained Schwartz. “We’re producing large numbers of science students, so this is another way to help inform them about some non-traditional science opportunities.”

“We do a great job of training our students in the sciences,” continued Schwartz, “but there is more that we can do to help them with future employment opportunities, especially in the area of biotechnology, which is a major industry in the Commonwealth.”

Schwartz has some background in entrepreneurship himself. In 2002, he was the founding science director of the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute (PVLSI) in Springfield, a collaborative effort between UMass and the Baystate Medical Center. The PVLSI is a state-of-the-art biomedical research facility which started as simply as an old factory building. The mission of the PVSLI is to find new approaches for the diagnosis of treatment and disease. Dr. Schwartz also directed the Center of Excellence Apoptosis. Apoptosis is, he detailed, the process of programmed cell death. As Schwartz noted, about 70 percent of human disease can be traced to defects in the regulation of apoptosis. These diseases include auto-immunity, neurodegeneration, and cancer, he elaborated.

In addition to being a faculty leader on these two endeavors, Schwartz has also published a host of scientific articles in many notable scientific journals such as Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and “Neuron.”

Throughout the course of his work, Schwartz has been awarded millions in grants for his research, including awards from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Energy. Aside from receiving grants, Schwartz also has served as a reviewer for grants made by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, NASA and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Schwartz wants to expand the participation of life sciences students in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship course. In the class, “students work in teams to develop the framework for a new company,” Schwartz said, elaborating that, “It’s a unique opportunity for them to work across a number of disciplines to create a commercialization plan for novel technologies and ideas.”

Ashley Berger can be reached at aberger@student.umass.edu.

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