Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (EC-GRECC) - VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System
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Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (EC-GRECC)


Eastern Colorado GRECC Investigators

28 August 2020


Robert S. Schwartz, MD
Title: Director, Division of Geriatric Medicine
Professor, Geriatric Medicine
Contact: robert.schwartz@cuanschutz.edu
Personal Statement
Dr. Schwartz is the Goodstein Professor of Medicine/Geriatrics, Head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine, and Director of:
1) the Interdisciplinary Center on Aging at the University of Colorado School of Medicine;
2) the Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine(now locally funded); and
3) the Integrative Physiology of Aging Institutional T32 NRSA.
He is Co-Director of the IMAGE Research Group and the Exercise Research Laboratory. He has appointments as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology at University of Colorado-Boulder and in the Department of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Denver. He is a National Councilor for The Association of Specialty Professors (ASP) and President of the Board of Directors for the Visiting Nurse Association of Colorado.
Dr. Schwartz was a standing member of the first NIH Geriatric and Rehabilitation Medicine Study Section from its inception in 1994 until 1999. Dr. Schwartz has been a regular member of both the NIA T32 and the Beeson K23 study sections, and presently reviews grants for the NRSC (NIH) Study Section and the Hartford Foundation. He served as a reviewer for the NIA Loan Repayment Program Awards for multiple years.
Dr. Schwartz has a long track record of successful clinical investigation in the areas of aging, exercise and endocrinology/metabolism and obesity. He has received continuous extramural funding for his research since his fellowship in Endocrinology, Metabolism, Nutrition and Gerontology at the University of Washington in 1977. These awards have included:
1) a training award from the NHLBI;
2) an NIH New Investigator Award;
3) two VA Merit Review Awards;
4) Co-directorship of an NIH P01 (NIA);
5) PI on three NIH R01 grants (NIA);
6) Co-investigator on 8 NIH R01 grants;
7) Co-investigator on 2 large multi-centered NIH sponsored clinical trials (DPP, SHOW); and
8) Co-Director of the UC-AMC Aging and Cancer P20 grant (NIA/NCI).
In addition, Dr. Schwartz has been the PI or co-investigator on several industry-sponsored grants involved in aging/frailty issues, including a new investigation of a myostatin inhibitor in older subjects. He is the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed publications.
Research Interest
Dr. Schwartz has considerable experience in mentoring trainees in aging-related research. He is the director for the successful, NIA-funded T32 (in its 11th year) entitled “Integrative Physiology of Aging” and has mentored/co-mentored 20 post-doctoral trainees and 5 pre-doctoral trainees (MD and PhD). Among these are 2 Jahnigen Scholars, 1 Williams Scholar and 3 (present) Beeson Scholars.
Dr. Schwartz has had a longstanding interest in aging, obesity, hormones, exercise and functional decline. He is the senior author of the Continuous-Scale Physical Functional Performance test and has completed NIH-funded studies assess the effects of growth hormone releasing hormone, DHEA and testosterone (manuscript in revision) on body composition, strength and function in older subjects. He developed one of the first exercise programs specifically aimed at intensive training in older adults and the interactions between exercise and hormone supplementation in older adults. He was the first to demonstrate differential effects of exercise vs. weight loss on body composition and especially intra-abdominal adiposity in older adults. He has also completed clinical trials assessing the effects of exercise in older subjects on: physical function; body composition and intra-abdominal fat; lipid metabolism; cardiovascular and metabolic function; physical function and most recently cognitive function (ongoing). Much of this work has been aimed at prevention of physical and/or cognitive frailty.

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Recent Publications


Jankowski CM, Mawhinney S, Wilson MP, Campbell TB, Kohrt WM, Schwartz RS, Brown TT, Erlandson KM. Body Composition Changes in Response to Moderate or High-Intensity Exercise Among Older Adults with or without HIV Infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2020 Jul 16.
PMID: 32701826.

Wherry SJ, Swanson CM, Wolfe P, Wellington T, Boxer RS, Schwartz RS, Kohrt WM. Bone Biomarker Response to Walking under Different Thermal Conditions in Older Adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019 08; 51(8):1599-1605.
PMID: 31083027.

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