Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Hematology/Oncology

Faculty Profiles

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photo John C. Schmitz, PhD


Co-Director, Cancer Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics Facility

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute


Phone: 412-864-7743

Office: 5117 Centre Avenue
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center G.27
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-864-7743
Administrative Assistant:
Darren Gilmartin
Address: 5117 Centre Avenue
Hillman Cancer Center, Suite G.2
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-623-1213
Education and Training
BS, Biochemistry, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 1988
PhD, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston SC, 1996
Postdoctoral Training, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2000
Research Interest
As Co-Director of the Cancer Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics Facility, Dr. Schmitz provides integrated pharmacodynamic (PD) services in support of translational and clinical UPCI research programs. This includes (a) facilitating patient sample acquisition, processing and storage, (b) analysis of serum-based biomarkers, (c) implementing existing NCI/CTEP PD assays, and (d) developing assays for measurement of novel PD endpoints. Our PD lab has developed and validated a quantitative multiplexed immunoblot assay for detection of phosphorylation of ATM in patients treated with DNA damaging radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Dr. Schmitz’s basic research focuses on development of novel chemotherapeutic targets and agents for the treatment of human colorectal cancer (CRC). Research interests include identification and validation of traditional Chinese herbal medicines and/or natural compounds with anticancer activity by themselves and in combination with current therapies. Our lab has identified a 5-herb formulation that can enhance the cytotoxicity of 5-fluorouracil in animal models through inhibition of the RB/E2F1/TS pathway. We are currently investigating the role of each herb in this interaction. Additional research interests include investigating the mechanism(s) of action of quassinoids on colorectal cancer cells and tumors.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Wu SY, Chen TM, Gmeiner WH, Chu E, Schmitz JC. Development of modified siRNA molecules incorporating 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine residues to enhance cytotoxicity. Nucleic Acids Research. 2013; 41(8): 4650-9.
Liu, H., Liu, H., Zhou, Z., Parise, R. A., Chu, E., Schmitz, J. C. Herbal formula huang gin ge gen tang enhances 5-fluorouracil antitumor activity through modulation of the E2F1/TS pathway. Cell Communication and Signaling. 2018; 16: 7.
Ferry-Galow, K. V., Ji, J., Kinders, R. J., Zhang, Y., Czambel, R. K., Schmitz, J. C., Herzog, J., Evrard, Y. A., Parchment, R. E. Pharmacodynamic analyses in a multi-laboratory network: lessons from the poly(ADP-ribose) assay. Seminars in Oncology. 2016; 43: 492.
Stoller, R., Schmitz, J. C., Ding, F., Puhalla, S., Belani, C.P., Applemen, L., Lin, Y., Jiang, Y., Almokadem, S., Petro, D., Holleran, J., Kiesel, B. F., Czambel, R. K., Carneiro, B. A., Kontopodis, E., Hershberger, P. A., Rachid, M., Chen, A., Chu, E., Beumer, J. H. Phase I study of veliparib in combination with gemcitabine. Cancer Chemotherapy Pharmacology. 2017; 80: 631.
Wei, N., Chu, E., Wu, S. Y., Wipf, P., Schmitz, J.C. The cytotoxic effects of regorafenib in combination with protein kinase D inhibition in human colorectal cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2015; 6(7): 4745-56.
Bakkenist, C. J., Czambel, R. K., Hershberger, P. A., Tawbi, H., Beumer, J. H., Schmitz, J. C. A quasi-quantitative dual multiplexed immunoblot method to simultaneously analyze ATM and H2AX phosphorylation in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Oncoscience. 2015; 2(5): 542-54.