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August 7, 2006

Dr. Frances Santiago-Schwarz
Dr. Frances Santiago-Schwarz
Dr. W. Hubert Keen , president of Farmingdale State College, is pleased to announce that Dr. Frances Santiago-Schwarz, of the Department of Biology, is the recipient of the College's first NIH grant. The three-year grant is for $208,000 and was received through the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The grant will help support the Farmingdale State College Bioscience Research Laboratory team led by Dr. Santiago-Schwarz to investigate the role of dendritic cells and heat shock proteins in generating and sustaining immunological disorders, especially rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Frances Santiago-Schwarz is a professor of biology and joined the FSC community in 2003. She brought established research activities supported through externally funded sources to support the newly approved four-year degree in bioscience.

When asked how she felt about achieving this first for Farmingdale State College, she replied, "I am excited for the college and the students as this grant will help our mission to establish externally funded investigation. Moreover, I see this as an encouraging opportunity for others in biomedically related fields at FSC to pursue research activity."

A pioneer in the field of dendritic cell biology, Dr. Santiago-Schwarz was among the first to discover the equivalent of dendritic cells in the human immune system and the dendritic cell hematopoietic pathway. Her research has helped establish the key role that dendritic cells play in promoting normal and abnormal immunity and it has provided important insight into how dendritic cell-based immunotherapy may be used for treatment of a wide range of diseases.

Dr. Santiago-Schwarz has also been successful in creating partnerships with local industries which have resulted in critically important internship and employment opportunities for students enrolled in the bioscience program. Her dedication to producing the next generation of scientists trained in the modern interdisciplinary approach to scientific discovery can be illustrated by prestigious accomplishments achieved by her students. For example, one student received one of only four research awards granted by the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists; another was accepted into the highly competitive Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories which only accepts 10 out of 600 international applicants. Several other of her students received Arthritis Foundation Summer Fellowship Awards along with co-authorships on scientific publications.

Dr. Santiago Schwarz has been awarded 20 grants and fellowships from industry, private foundations and government sources. She has authored 66 scientific publications and abstracts and frequently lectures on advances in dendritic cell research and applications. In addition, she has served on the editorial and scientific review boards of Blood, Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology, Journal of Rheumatology, Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, NIAMS, MBRS-NIH, National Science Foundation, Journal of Immunological Methods, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Research Service and Trends in Immunology. She is also a member of the Medical and Scientific Committee of the Long Island Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.

Dr. Santiago-Schwarz obtained a BS. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico and continued on to complete an M.S. in Biology (Immunology) at New York University and a PhD in Immunology/Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California . Her postdoctoral training included two fellowships: one at New York University School of Medicine in molecular biology, the other at Stony Brook University in cellular immunology. In 2005, she received a SUNY Research and Scholarship Award.