Melody Swartz elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Today it was announced that Melody Swartz, William B. Ogden Professor of Molecular Engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine.

Swartz holds a joint appointment in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research and serves as deputy dean for faculty affairs at Pritzker Molecular Engineering. She is also a co-founder of the Chicago Immunoengineering Innovation Center (CIIC). Her research interests include lymphatic physiology, cancer research, and immunotherapy.

“Election to the National Academy of Medicine is one of the highest honors in health and medicine,” said Matthew Tirrell, dean of PME. “This achievement recognizes Melody’s pioneering work in immunoengineering, particularly in lymphatic immunobiology and cancer therapies.”

Swartz’s research focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of how the lymphatic system regulates immunity in homeostasis and disease, particularly in cancer and chronic inflammation. Her lab applies this knowledge to develop novel immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer, including lymph node-targeting vaccines.

Her quantitative and interdisciplinary approach draws on bioengineering, immunobiology, physiology, cell biology, and biomechanics.

Swartz’s many honors include a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012, as well as her election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2018.

Before joining PME in 2014, Swartz served as a professor and director of the Institute of Bioengineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. Prior to that, she was an assistant professor at Northwestern University in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Swartz obtained her BS from Johns Hopkins University and PhD from MIT, both in chemical engineering, and she completed postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital.