Rochelle D. Schwartz-Bloom
Professor in Pharmacology & Cancer Biology

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. Dr. Schwartz-Bloom’s research program continues now exclusively in science education, which she started in 1996. With funds provided by the Duke Provost in 2007, Dr. Schwartz-Bloom established Duke Center for Science Education, an umbrella for all Duke-related activities in 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 also directs RISE (Raising Interest in Science Education,, an office within the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, where she develops and provides novel science education curricular materials in the area of pharmacology to the K-12 and college community. One of the major programs that she developed is the Pharmacology Education Partnership (, 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. Dr. Schwartz-Bloom provides several opportunities for Duke Pharmacology graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to obtain experience in teaching.

Current Research Interests

Dr. Schwartz-Bloom is especially interested in helping high school biology and chemistry students learn better by incorporating topics in pharmacology (e.g., drugs and alcohol) into their curricula.  She has developed several online programs to bring these curricular materials to the classroom.  Her current interests are to bring real neuropharmacology experiments into high school biology classrooms, "virtually".   She and her team have developed a series of 7 neuropharmacology experiments performed by Duke graduate students on film.  An online program brings the real scientists into the high school classroom to interact with the students.  Field-testing of the virtual online program is ongoing in the Durham Public Schools and will be released to the public in 2018.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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