$2 million gift creates Arnold and Ina P. Schwartz Endowed Chair at UC College of Medicine

Chair named for UC faculty member and two-time UC graduate

A $2 million gift from the estate of Arnold and Ina Schwartz will create a new endowed chair at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, supporting the head of the UC Department of Pharmacology and Systems Physiology.

The Arnold and Ina P. Schwartz Endowed Chair of Pharmacology and Systems Physiology will dedicate funding for the research and education efforts of the department chair. This commitment will complement the gift made by the Schwartz family in 2019 to establish the Dr. Arnold Schwartz Cardiovascular Clinical Pharmacology Visiting Lectureship Fund.

photo of couple, man wearing gold award

Arnold and Ina P. Schwartz.

Arnold “Arnie” Schwartz, PhD, an internationally recognized heart researcher and educator who is credited with developing multiple cardiac drug therapies (e.g., diltiazem and amlodipine), arrived at UC in 1977. He came to UC from the Baylor College of Medicine, recruited by Stanley Troup, MD, then senior vice president and provost and Robert Daniels, MD (dean of the college from 1973-1986), to build cardiovascular research.

The UC Board of Trustees elected his home base would be called the new UC Department of Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics, where he served as chair from 1977 until 1994. Schwartz brought his faculty and staff, and in less than two years he was awarded a multi-department Program Project Grant (NHLBI) and a T-32 Training Program (NHLBI). In addition, Schwartz and his faculty transferred all individual grants to UC, including two MERIT awards. In under five years, his department was among the top in the state and in the nation in pharmacology researching and teaching. 

After 17 years, Schwartz was recruited to build cardiovascular research and education in the UC Department of Surgery and named a division head. He was very successful especially in recruiting several fellows who advanced to chairs elsewhere. 

Our university and our community have greatly benefited from the incredible lifetime work of Arnie and Ina Schwartz as well as their passion for science and education within their chosen fields.With this forward-thinking gift, we are grateful to continue their legacy at UC, especially at the college where Arnie made such a profound impact in advancing its basic science and cardiovascular research efforts.

Neville G. Pinto UC President

Since 1977, Schwartz has served as the Edward Wendland Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics and was awarded the first Distinguished University Research Professor in 1988 by UC President Joseph Steger and the UC Board of Trustees. He has peer reviewed and published over 500 papers, written several books and is proud to have supervised more than 50 graduate students. Several of his students have achieved fame as chairs. He has won many international awards, among them the Otto Krayer Award in Pharmacology, the Ariens Award in Receptor Science, the Research Merit Award of the American Heart Association, the Distinguished Investigator Award of the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and the Merit Gold Award of the International Society of CV Science. The American Heart Association Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science also honored Schwartz by establishing the ARNIE Award. 

Ina Price Schwartz, MA, MSW, LCSW began her academic career as a piano music major at Houston Baptist College, receiving her bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Houston before a master’s degree in communication and a master’s degree in social work at UC. As a communication instructor at UC she was active as a lecturer and speaker on communication skills. After completing a grant-supported internship at the Cincinnati Center for Developmental Disorders, her clinical practice focused on medical geriatric care management.

She has presented numerous continuing education workshops in the Tristate on interpersonal communication issues with older adults, including “An Interpersonal Psychotherapy Approach to Depression in Older Adults,” and published a paper on “Support Services Dilemmas for Older Adults.” Ina is a member of the UC Women’s Club and the Cincinnati Keyboard Club. She has moderated communication classes for several years at UC’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and plays the piano as a volunteer in the Cincinnati retirement community. She feels that solving problems can often be compared to playing a jazz riff. It means understanding the basic structure, listening carefully and improvising creatively.

Our university and our community have greatly benefited from the incredible lifetime work of Arnie and Ina Schwartz as well as their passion for science and education within their chosen fields,” said UC President Neville G. Pinto. “With this forward-thinking gift, we are grateful to continue their legacy at UC, especially at the college where Arnie made such a profound impact in advancing its basic science and cardiovascular research efforts.”

In 2016, Schwartz received the Daniel Drake Medal, the College of Medicine’s highest honor, which recognizes distinguished living faculty or alumni who have made outstanding or unique contributions to medical education, scholarship, or research.

Coming from a member of our own faculty, this gift truly speaks to the importance of academic medicine and research to drive what’s next for the college and for scientific investigation for years to come.

Andrew T. Filak Jr., MD Senior vice president for health affairs and Christian R. Holmes Professor and Dean of the College of Medicine

The Drake award recognized Schwartz’s groundbreaking study of the heart — he was the first to clone and characterize a human heart channel and identify the sites for the receptors of the calcium channel blocking drugs (diltiazem, verapamil and amlodipine). His work on digitalis’ mechanism of action led to the cloning of the Na, K-ATPase (NKA) together with colleagues in the UC Department of Molecular Genetics. Schwartz was the first to purify the cardiac receptor for digitalis, the NKA, and the first to use radiolabeled Digoxin in receptor analysis. Schwartz and students were the first to clone the skeletal, vascular smooth muscle and human heart voltage dependent calcium channel subunits. To date, he has authored over 500 peer reviewed papers and is among the most cited (300) authors.

“Arnie’s career is a shining example of our core work of translational research,” said Andrew Filak Jr., MD, senior vice president for health affairs and Christian R. Holmes Professor and Dean of the College of Medicine. “Through Arnie’s research, education and drug development efforts over his career, countless lives have been saved and many have benefited. Coming from a member of our own faculty, this gift truly speaks to the importance of academic medicine and research to drive what’s next for the college and for scientific investigation for years to come.”

“Arnie has been a pivotal faculty member in history of our department,” said James Herman, PhD, chair of the UC Department of Pharmacology and Systems Physiology. “He has made an indelible impact and we’re honored to have his and Ina’s support.”

In addition to being a dedicated researcher, Schwartz has long placed importance on mentorship and education. In his early career, he studied under two Nobel laureates, Robert F. Furchgott (PhD supervisor) and Jens C. Skou (Post doc supervisor). As principal investigator of a training grant for more than 30 years, he educated hundreds of graduate and medical students at UC. UC and Baylor medical students have recognized Schwartz with several awards for teaching excellence.

Endowed chairs, which provide sustaining funding for faculty members, are key in recruiting and retaining talented faculty as well as supporting education, research and innovation. This donation supports faculty and innovation, two priorities of Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati, the comprehensive fundraising effort for UC and UC Health. 

Featured image at top: UC CARE/Crawley building. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand.

Next, Now

With its focus on innovation and impact, Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati is where ambition meets action. At the University of Cincinnati and UC Health, we’re driven by next; thinking bolder and dreaming bigger to create the tomorrow we envision, today. Learn more at nextnow.uc.edu.