Julie Kristina Schwarz, MD, PhD
Photo: Julie K. Schwarz



Elected 2022

Julie Schwarz, MD, PhD, is a tenured Professor in Radiation Oncology. After completing her undergraduate degree at Duke University, 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. Currently, Dr. Schwarz serves as Vice Chair for Research and Director of Cancer Biology Division in the Department of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Schwarz has held numerous leadership roles in professional organizations and is the current Vice-President of the Radiation Research Society. Her areas of research interest include gynecologic oncology, tumor metabolism, tumor immunity, molecular imaging and biomarker development.

Dr. Schwarz is an R01 funded investigator. Her laboratory research includes using human tumor specimens to study the biologic pathways that regulate cancer treatment response. These studies have employed gene expression and genomic analyses. Most recently, she has identified mutations in PIK3CA and PTEN that are associated with tumor redox metabolism and the response to radiation and chemotherapy in cervical cancer. Using preclinical models in vitro and in vivo, she is currently studying how these genomic alterations influence the tumor immune microenvironment and how targeted metabolic therapies can be used in combination with radiation and chemotherapy to improve treatment outcomes.

Dr. Schwarz performs clinical research that includes the use of 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. Her work was 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.