Rochelle D. Schwartz-Bloom
Professor Emeritus of 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 continued in the area of science education, which she started in 1996.  Her science education research has included the development of 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.  All of Dr. Schwartz-Bloom's science education research activities are found on her website for Raising Interest in Science Education, or RISE  at  

With funds provided by the Duke Provost in 2007, Dr. Schwartz-Bloom also established the Duke Center for Science Education, an umbrella for all Duke-related activities in science education. The Center helps to coordinate Duke faculty and student interests in curriculum development, research, and outreach activities in science education for the K-16 grades.

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 was conducted in the Durham high school biology classes.  The program is now available online to the public at

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

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