Dr. Floyd Bloom

Dr. FLOYD E. BLOOM is Chairman of the Department of Neuropharmacology at the Scripps Institute, and from 1995 to 2000 was editor-in-chief of the journal Science, which enabled him to blend his two loves of writing and scientific discovery. After seeing his aptitude tests, his high school counselor advised him to study writing and journalism, but his own keen interest in science and math led him to medical school. Although he initially intended to become an obstetrician, he ended up doing research in pharmacology and physiology. After working at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., he obtained an NIH Fellowship to study at Yale and then was recruited back to St. Elizabeth’s, where he became the Chief of Cytochemical Pharmacology and entered the blossoming field of neuroscience. He studied mood disorders and mental illness, looking at reserpine, a cardiac drug that tended to cause severe depression, and he is best known for his groundbreaking work on serotonin. He has held several important posts, including Director for the Center of Neurobiology at the Salk Institute. A member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1977, he is the recipient of numerous prizes including the Janssen Award in the Basic Sciences and the Pasarow Award in Neuropsychiatry. His more than 600 publications include his seminal book, The Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology.

Medical training and guiding lights

Career moves and new methods

Problems and Predictions