President & CEO
Anthony M. Szema, MD, FCCP, FACAAI, FAAAAI, FACP was the award-winning Editor-In-Chief of the Rensselaer Engineer college technical journal by the Engineering College Magazines Associated (ECMA); he earned his B.S.E. in Industrial and Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, N.Y., is a founding member of the Alpha Pi Mu National Industrial Engineering Society chapter and a third place Columbia University American Institute of Industrial Engineers competition winner. Szema graduated from Albany Medical College, Albany, N.Y. with his M.D., where he was Vice-President of his class for the final clinical years of medical school and earned the Dean’s Recognition Award for establishing the first student-run course evaluations of rotations and grading of professors. He was the recipient of the Raeburn Wharton Award and Scholarships from the Medical Society of the County of Schenectady, NIH, NCI, allowing him to study liver cancer at National Taiwan University Medical School, pulmonary disease at Harvard, and hyperbaric medicine at York Hospital, Maine, during his summers. He was mentored by Robert E. Dutton, Jr., M.D., Professor of Medicine and Physiology at Albany Medical College and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at RPI, researching the brain’s control of respiration.
Dr. Szema’s internship was at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, and residency in internal medicine at Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, where he was recognized as an outstanding resident by the NIH Research Festival in the New England Journal of Medicine. Szema completed three fellowships in addition to postdoctoral research at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, NY, NY, in: Pulmonary Diseases, Critical Care Medicine, Clinical Adult and Pediatric Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology/Immunology research under the aegis of Leonard Chess.
Before starting RDS2 Solutions, Anthony Szema was assistant professor of medicine and surgery at Stony Brook University School of Medicine; Chief, Allergy Section, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Northport, NY; and the recipient of the prestigious NIH K08 award with mentor Distinguished SUNY Professor Sami I. Said, M.D., the discoverer of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP). Szema and Said made landmark contributions to the scientific literature, showing that lack of the VIP gene leads to spontaneous asthma and pulmonary hypertension and suppression of protective regulatory T cells (Tregs)—these changes are largely reversible with VIP treatment. Recent funding by the NIH supported Dr. Szema’s research on: 1) World Trade Center rescue workers exposed to Hurricane Sandy, and 2) clinical genetic studies of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which support the use of VIP as an inhibitor of the transcription factor NFAT to cure these diseases. The currently funded CDC NIOSH grant establishes the cohort of patients for phase I and II clinical trials of World Trade Center Mind Body Lung Injury, a term Szema coined. Dr. Szema was the first to report World Trade Center asthma and lung injury in children and also discovered Iraq Afghanistan War Lung Injury, for which he was awarded the Albion Bernstein Award from the Medical Society of the State of New York and the Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan Circle Scientific Award.
Dr. Szema is a successful serial entrepreneur, angel investor and innovator who authored the book Rogue BEE, recently completed Unusual Diseases with Common Symptoms, and is Editor of Textbook of World Trade Center Pulmonary Diseases and Associated Multi-Organ System Manifestations for Springer Publishing. His part-time medical practice is Three Village Allergy & Asthma, PLLC, South Setauket, NY. He teaches residents at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, Port Jefferson, NY. He is Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology, and Prevention, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine at Hofstra University; Adjunct Professor, Department of Technology and Society, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Stony Brook University; and Co-Investigator, Columbia University Child Psychiatric Epidemiology Group.