Alum Robert Schwartz appointed to U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

Robert Allen Schwartz MD, MPH ’70 has been appointed to serve on the United States Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, or PACHA. As a member of the council, Schwartz joins 10 other health professionals to provide information and recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on programs and policies concerning people living with HIV and AIDS.

“More than 1 million Americans are living with HIV and nearly 40,000 are newly diagnosed with the virus each year,” said Dr. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health in Health and Human Services. “PACHA will play a critical role in our collective response to this public health issue.”

A professor and head of dermatology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Schwartz holds expertise in topics that span medicine and pediatrics, pathology and laboratory medicine, and preventative and community health. He has authored more than a thousand publications, including the widely-used clinical reference Skin Cancer: Recognition and Management.

Schwartz earned a bachelor’s in political science in 1969 from UC Berkeley, followed by his MPH at the School of Public Health. He then attended medical school at New York Medical College. In 1981, he led one of the research groups to first describe AIDS-associated Kaposi sarcoma, a cancer that develops in people infected with HIV. He published extensively on this disease, its subtypes, and a breakthrough therapy to treat it. This research brought him around the globe—Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen—to lecture on Kaposi sarcoma and other topics concerning HIV/AIDS.

As a member of PACHA, Schwartz will apply his decades of experience and expertise to directly inform the federal government on HIV/AIDS policies and response.

“I recall my mentor at UC Berkeley, Henrik Blum, the legendary father of health planning and administration, who inspired me,” says Schwartz. “I reflect upon my colleagues, friends, and patients, who have so gallantly battled AIDS since the start of the epidemic decades ago.”