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University of Washington
School of Medicine
Box 358050
850 Republican Street
Brotman Building 453
Seattle, WA 98195-8050

Debra Schwinn, MD


Debra Schwinn

Debra A. Schwinn, MD, is Professor & Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and Genome Sciences, at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and Association of American Physicians, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the IARS and immediate past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Her molecular pharmacology laboratory focuses on mechanisms underlying a1-adrenergic receptor regulation and modulation in cardiovascular disease, including the biological effects of genetic variants of these stress receptors. In parallel, over the last decade her clinical studies have focused on perioperative genomics, a relatively new field aimed at identifying genetic variants that predict increased risk for perioperative adverse events. Prior to moving to the University of Washington in 2007, Dr. Schwinn was appointed Program Director for Cardiovascular Genomics at Duke’s Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy. She also completed a sabbatical at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH.

One of Dr. Schwinn’s aims in moving to Seattle as Chair of Anesthesiology was establishment of a world-class interdisciplinary pain center designed to move pain medicine to the next level. With historic roots of strength in translational research, as well as many outstanding new interdisciplinary faculty recruits to the University of Washington over the last 3-4 years, Seattle is a perfect place to the create synergies needed to develop pain medicine of the future, move mitochondria & metabolism research into human studies, and deepen academics by developing an entire new cadre of faculty/fellows equipped to be academically successful junior faculty. It is Dr. Schwinn’s philosophy that ultimate success of those in leadership today will be measured by how we equip our current trainees to use anesthesiology as an effective and creative acute care medicine platform to change medicine for the better.