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Marco Schwarz, PhD - Medical Physicist

Marco Schwarz, PhD - Medical Physicist

We are pleased to share that Marco Schwarz, PhD, will soon be joining the medical physics team at SCCA Proton Therapy Center. Originally from Turin, a city in the northwest region of Italy, but more recently a resident of Trento in northeast Italy, he currently serves as the head of physics in the Proton Therapy Department at the Provincial Health Service Agency of Trento. His research has focused on FLASH particle therapy — the higher-dose, fewer-treatments version of proton therapy — and he will help lead this effort at our Center. 

Although he began his studies in physics, Dr. Schwarz wanted to write his master’s thesis on applied physics, which is the application of physics to solve scientific or engineering problems. He discovered that medical physics offered a great balance between his personal interests and meaningful work that has a positive impact in others. He now focuses on developing and improving techniques used in radiation treatment.

Dr. Schwarz was looking for a place where he could build a long-term project in his interest area of physics applied to radiation oncology. During the past 20 years, he’s spent 10 years working with photons and 10 years with protons, and he maintains an interest in both types of radiation therapy. At the UW Medicine facility, he will also be able to work with neutrons. However, what he likes best about joining the department is that he will be among people of many talents. “I strongly believe that proton people can learn from photon people and vice versa,” he says.

Dr. Schwarz has visited Seattle before and very much enjoyed it. One of the biggest benefits of moving to Seattle, he says, is being able to get outdoors, as he loves to run, cycle and hike in the mountains. “I love being able to experience the outdoors,” he says. “I’ve recently started swimming — not open-water swimming, though that concept is appealing.”

His favorite places are the mountains of his youth near Turin, and the island of Majorca, with its beautiful, isolated spots and a gorgeous natural landscape of mountains and sea.When he’s not outdoors, Dr. Schwarz likes to read the work of Oliver Sacks, a British neurologist, naturalist, science historian and writer who is well-known for his insightful case histories and unusual experiences. While they share a medical background, Dr. Schwarz finds Sacks’ distinctly different experience of medicine fascinating. He’s also recently discovered that he loves John Steinbeck, especially the classic “East of Eden.”

We look forward to welcoming Dr. Schwarz in January 2022, when he, his wife Elena and his 10-year-old son Matteo will move to Seattle.