Jerrold Schwaber, 67, an immunologist

Jerrold Schwaber
Jerrold Schwaber
Posted: June 21, 2014

Jerrold Schwaber, 67, of Haddonfield, a former immunologist at Jefferson Medical College, died Friday, June 6, at home from complications of surgery.

Born in Evanston, Ill., Dr. Schwaber earned a bachelor's degree in the analysis of ideas at the University of Chicago in 1969 and a doctorate in theoretical biology there in 1974, his wife, Susan Hoch, said.

Dr. Schwaber was an instructor and assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital from 1974 to 1991. After moving his career to Philadelphia, he was professor of pathology at Hahnemann University Hospital until 1999.

In 1992, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation awarded Dr. Schwaber its lifetime achievement award for his research on the genetic causes of immunodeficiency, his wife said.

He was associate professor of pathology at Thomas Jefferson University from 2000 to 2002.

George Tuszynski, emeritus professor of neuroscience at the Temple University School of Medicine, who retired in 2012, said, "I first met Jerry when I moved my laboratory from Medical College of Pennsylvania to Hahnemann University.

"He was a trusted colleague who helped us to establish molecular biology in the lab since he was a renowned Harvard-trained molecular biologist."

He added, "I have always considered him to be a brilliant scientist who sought to discover the truth in our world."

Dr. Schwaber was on his way to a seminar at the University of Pennsylvania on Sept. 12, 2001, when he was hit by a car and suffered multiple injuries, his wife said. "He was biking. He was an avid bicyclist. From Haddonfield half the year" to his work in Philadelphia.

"He was hit at 24th and Walnut . . . and could not work as a scientist" anymore, she said.

But he passed his work on.

"He had prepared all these cell lines so you can grow and multiply them, all these cell lines, when he could no longer work," his wife said.

Dr. Schwaber donated them to the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in Camden, whose website states that it is dedicated to the study of the human genome.

"If you wanted to study one of the primary immune-deficiency syndromes that he worked on, those lines are stored, frozen, at Coriell," his wife said.

The journal Nature in 1973 published a paper by Dr. Schwaber and Edward P. Cohen about immunology that, his wife said, was considered groundbreaking.

Dr. Schwaber was a member of the American Academy of Immunology, the American Society for Cell Biology, and the American Society for Human Genetics.

In addition to his wife of 45 years, Dr. Schwaber is survived by sons Jason and Jeff; three brothers; and four grandchildren.

No services were planned.

Donations may be sent to the American Society for Cell Biology at www.ascb.org. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.plattmemorial.com.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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