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Melody A. Swartz, PhD

William B. Ogden Professor

of Molecular Engineering

Melody A. Swartz is the William B. Ogden Professor in the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, where she holds a joint appointment in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research. She obtained her BS from Johns Hopkins and PhD from MIT, both in chemical engineering, and carried out postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital.


Current Research


Swartz’s research focuses on elucidating and exploiting the roles of lymphatic function as it relates to cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases including asthma, using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches from bioengineering, immunobiology, physiology, cell biology and biomechanics. Her lab works in both basic hypothesis-driven research as well as in translational applications.

A major interest has been to understand the immunological implications of lymphangiogenesis in tumors and other chronic inflammatory conditions, including allergic airway disease. Other current projects include elucidating new immunological functions of lymphatic endothelium and developing novel strategies for targeting the lymphatics and sentinel lymph nodes for immunotherapy. Building novel, physiologically relevant, 3D model systems for recapitulating key features of interest in tumor and lymphatic microenvironments has been an integral part of this research program, and they use those models in complementary ways with mouse models to gain new insight into tumor cell invasion and metastasis. 

Selected Publications

  • Local induction of lymphangiogenesis

    Güç E, Briquez PS, Foretay D, Fankhauser MA, Hubbell JA, Kilarski WW, Swartz MA. Local induction of lymphangiogenesis. Biomaterials. 2017.


  • Transcellular Pathways

    Triacca V, Guc E, Kilarski WW, Pisano M, Swartz MA. Transcellular Pathways. Circulation Research. 2017.

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