Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom, Ph.D.

Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom, Ph.D. Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Professor of Education
Professor of Biological Psychiatry
Director, Undergraduate Studies in Pharmacology
Director, RISE (Raising Interest in Science Education)
Director, Duke Center for Science Education

Duke University School of Medicine
Box 3813
Durham, NC 27710

Phone: 919-684-5181

Research Interests

The Schwartz-Bloom laboratory has completed 18 years of research investigating novel pharmacologic approaches to prevent neuronal death caused by cerebral ischemia associated with cardiac arrest and stroke. The group studied how GABA neurotransmission dysfunction contributes to the death of hippocampal neurons after ischemia in vivo or in vitro. Clinical trials based on her research findings are now in progress to prevent neuronal damage after acute stroke in humans. Dr. Schwartz-Bloom's research program continues now exclusively in science education, which she started in 1996. As Director of RISE at Duke (Raising Interest in Science Education ,, Dr. Schwartz-Bloom develops and provides novel science education curricular materials to the K-12 and college community. Dr. Schwartz-Bloom developed the Pharmacology Education Partnership (, which presents a series of pharmacology- and drug abuse-related science education modules for high school biology and chemistry students. Testing of over 15,000 high school students has revealed that student performance in biology and chemistry improves when they use the pharmacology curriculum developed by her team. With funds provided by the Duke Provost in 2007, Dr. Schwartz-Bloom established Duke Center for Science Education. She coordinates Duke faculty and student interests in curriculum development, research, and outreach activities in science education for the K-16 grades. Dr. Schwartz-Bloom provides several opportunities for Duke Pharmacology graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to obtain experience in teaching.

Representative Publications

RD Schwartz-Bloom and MJ Halpin. (2003) Integration of pharmacology topics into high school biology and chemistry classes improves student performance. J. Res. Sci. Teach . 40: 922-938.

RD Schwartz-Bloom (2005) Science education: A neuroscientist’s view of translational medicine. J. Neurosci. 25:5667-5669.

NC Kwiek, MJ Halpin, JC Reiter, LA Hoeffl er, and RD Schwartz-Bloom (2007). Pharmacology in the High School Classroom. Science 317:1871-1872.

SS Sikes and RD Schwartz-Bloom (2009) Direction Discovery: A science enrichment program for high school students. Biochem. Mol. Biol. Ed. 37:77-83, 2009.

MM Yang, DP McMullen, R Brady, and RD Schwartz-Bloom (2009) DiVE into alcohol: A biochemical immersive experience. IEEE-Virtual Reality Conference Proceedings.