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OHIO Expert

Frank Schwartz, M.D.

Director, Appalachian Rural Health Institute Diabetes and Endocrine Center
Director, Ohio University Diabetes and Endocrine Diseases Biorepository
James O. Watson Endowed Chair for Diabetes Research
Professor of Endocrinology

Specialty Medicine
Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine


Dr. Schwartz is a standout within the medical community for his extensive research on diabetes, attracting more than $2.6 million in external funding to the medical college since 2003. At Ohio University, he is credited with advancing the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine's (HCOM) work in diabetes research, helping to establish the college as one of the leading academic institutions and medical clinics for research and treatment of diabetes in Ohio and the nation.

Schwartz's basic research focuses on the role of "toll-like receptors" (TLR) in auto-immune endocrine diseases. Recently, Schwartz and his research team began working on a potential diabetes treatment with a compound called C-10. The compound blocks abnormal expression of TLR and may offer a new type of treatment for diseases such as Type I diabetes, atherosclerosis and certain cancers in the near future.

The work is co-funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Interthyr Corporation. The late Leonard D. Kohn, M.D., chief executive officer of Interthyr and retired HCOM distinguished senior research scientist, discovered C-10 while working at the NIH, and brought the compound to Ohio University for development prior to his retirement.

Schwartz also promotes basic research through the Diabetes and Endocrine Diseases Biorepository, which he established at Ohio University. The biorepository stores blood samples of patients from University Medical Associates and the Cornwell Diabetes and Endocrine Center at O'Bleness Memorial Hospital within the local community.

The samples, which include serum DNA and RNA, will assist university research into the causes of obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cancer and other endocrine diseases for the purpose of exploring better treatment and diagnostic possibilities.

Additionally, Schwartz, medical colleagues and researchers in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology are working to improve medical technology for diabetic patients by co-developing an artificial intelligence software program for insulin pumps for Type I diabetes patients. The software interprets how life events impact individual patients' glucose levels and offers evidence-based solutions to problems. The researchers hope the software eventually can make treatment suggestions and serve all forms of diabetes. The project is funded by the Medtronic MiniMed Corporation and GlucoTec, Inc., and internal awards from HCOM.

Overall, Schwartz has helped increase the medical community's understanding of the Southeastern Ohio population through his involvement with an ongoing 19-county comprehensive health needs assessment sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The study, conducted in collaboration with Ohio University's George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and the Appalachian Rural Health Institute (ARHI), has revealed that, in the 11 counties surveyed so far, more than 11 percent of people in Appalachian Ohio suffer from diabetes, compared to the national average of 8 percent.

Schwartz' Media Placements include:

  • Athens News
  • Marietta Times
  • Athens Messenger
  • Google News
  • WOUB-TV (OH)

Areas of Expertise

Artificial Intelligence Insulin Pump, Atherosclerosis, Autoimmune Diseases, Biomedical Technology, Biorepository, Cancer, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Insulin, Pancreatic Cancer

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