James H. Schwartz, 73, a board trustee and Life Fellow of the American Numismatic Society and a leader in neurobiology research, died March 13 of leukemia in Manhattan.
Mr. Schwartz was Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Psychiatry and Neurology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, where he had been since 1974.
He was a pioneer in studying the chemical basis of memory storage at the cellular and molecular origins of learning behavior.
He studied coins and gems of antiquity and published papers in the ANS journal. He specialized in coins struck by the Vandals in North Africa in the fifth century. He also studied gems and amulets originating in Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean region dating from the second to fourth centuries, many thought to have magical or curative powers.
Schwartz was born in Manhattan and received his undergraduate degree from Columbia, medical degree from New York University and doctorate from Rockefeller University. He joined Columbia as a professor in 1974.
He is survived by his wife, Catherine Lipkin, daughter Daisy Salzman, of San Francisco, son Peter, of Boston, and five grandchildren.