Nicholas U. Schwartz

Nicholas U. Schwartz


B.S. Duke University (2012)

MD/PhD Stony Brook University (2020)


Lina M. Obeid, MD

Graduate Program:


Project Title:

The Role and Regulation of Sphingolipids in Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease and Neuropathy

Research Interest:

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most commonly inherited neurological disorder, but its molecular mechanisms remain unclear. One variant of CMT, Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2F (CMT2F), is characterized by mutations in heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27). Bioactive sphingolipids such as ceramide have been implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases, but it was unknown if they were dysregulated in CMT. A large focus of my research in Dr. Lina Obeid’s lab has focused on establishing and developing this connection. Our findings have suggested that CMT2F mutant Hsp27 decreases mitochondrial levels of ceramide, producing structural and functional changes in mitochondria leading to neuronal degeneration.

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

Schwartz NU. Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2F (Hsp27 mutations): A review (2019). Neurobiology of Disease. 130,

Schwartz NU, Mileva I, Gurevich M, Snider J, Hannun YA, Obeid LM. Quantifying 1-deoxydihydroceramides and 1-deoxyceramides in mouse nervous system tissue (2019). Journal of Prostaglandins and Other Lipid Mediat. 141, 

Snider JM, Trayssac M, Clarke CJ, Schwartz NU, Snider AJ, Obeid LM, Luberto C, Hannun, YA (2018). Flux analysis reveals regulation of the sphingolipid network by doxorubicin in breast cancer cells. Journal of Lipid Research. 60(7),

Schwartz NU, Linzer RW, Truman JP, Gurevich M, Hannun YA, Senkal CE, Obeid LM (2018). Decreased ceramide underlies mitochondrial dysfunction in Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2F. The FASEB Journal, 32(3), fj.201701067R. *Selected for cover of March 2018 edition.

Leung W, … Schwartz NU, … Elgin SCR (2017). “Retrotransposons Are the Major Contributors to the Expansion of the Drosophila ananassae Muller F Element.”, G3: GENES, GENOMEs, GENETICS, 7(8),

Leung W, … Schwartz NU, … Elgin SCR (2015). “The Drosophila Muller F elements maintain a distinct set of genomic properties over 40 million years of evolution.” G3: GENES, GENOMEs, GENETICS, 5(5),

Schwartz NU, Zhong L, Bellemer A, Tracey WD. (2012). Egg laying decisions in Drosophila are consistent with foraging costs of larval progeny. PLoS One. 7:e37910.

Recent Awards:

Alpha Omega Alpha Society Member, 2019

Outstanding Manuscript of the Year Award, Stony Brook University Program in Neuroscience, 2017

Combining Clinical and Research Careers in Neuroscience – Selected Participant with Travel Award, Washington, DC, 2017

Travel Award to American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 2017

Stony Brook Three Minute Thesis Competition Finalist, 2017

Stony Brook University Graduate Student Organization Distinguished Travel Award, 2016

Travel Award to RIKEN Brain Science Institute Summer Lecture Course, Tokyo, Japan, 2015

Travel Award to NIGMS/UAB Metabolomics Workshop, Birmingham, AL, 2015

Travel Award to NIMH MD/PhD Meeting and Molecular Psychiatry Meeting, San Francisco, 2014