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Rochelle D. Schwartz-Bloom, PhD, Director

Professor of PharmacologyRochelle Schwartz-Bloom
Professor of Education
Faculty Website
You can download a copy of Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom’s CV.

Dr. Schwartz-Bloom was trained as a neuropharmacologist and has devoted her basic science research to understanding the mechanisms of neuroprotection after neuronal injury. Additionally, she has had a long-standing interest in science education. In 1994, she developed a research program at Duke University that applies science-based research to K-12 curriculum and professional development. In 2004, she was the recipient of the Science Education Award from the Society for Neuroscience and in 2009, she won the Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  In 2016 Dr. Schwartz-Bloom was elected to the American Association of the Advancement of Science as a Fellow in Education.  Additionally, Dr. Schwartz-Bloom helped to train the next generation of science teachers.  She served as a co-Investigator for the NSF funded Robert Noyce Fellowship to graduate students in science enrolled in Duke’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program.


Myra J. Halpin, PhD, Chemistry Teacher (Retired), North Carolina School of Science and Math, Durham, NC; Co-Director, The Pharmacology Education Partnership (PEP) & The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership (APEP)

Dr. Halpin taught chemistry for 45 years, and won the National Science Foundation Presidential Award for Science Teachers in 1995. She joined with Dr. Schwartz-Bloom in 1997 to develop the Pharmacology Education Partnership (PEP) and in 2005 to develop the Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership (APEP)

Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia, PhD, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, Michigan State University (formerly in Psychology & Neuroscience, and Program in Education, Duke University); Principal Investigator of the LEAP program for Duke undergraduates

Dr. Linnenbrink-Garcia brings her expertise in the science of studying motivation and interest in science to a major RISE program called LEAP (Launch into Education About Pharmacology) .  Originally designed for high school students, the program was redesigned for the undergraduate level students at Duke, with funding from the NIGMS (NIH).

Dimitri Blondel, PhD, Project Director

Dr. Blondel obtained his Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of Florida.  He joined RISE in 2015 and was Project Director of REX , an inquiry-based “virtual lab” program for biology and psychology high school students that covers the neurobiology of substance abuse.

David Kirsch, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology and Assistant Professor of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology; Investigator of the NASA-funded grant to study the effects of radiation on cellular biology systems

RISE partnered with Dr. Kirsch’s team to translate their discoveries for the high school population. They developed a unit about cosmic radiation for biology, chemistry, and physics classes.  Go to the Mission to Mars to check it out.