Stacie Bloom on Finding Purpose Working in Neuroscience

In Chapter 7 of 18 in her 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, Neuroscience Institute Executive Director Stacie Grossman Bloom answers "What Makes Your Work Meaningful?"  Bloom hopes that the research work done at the NYU Neuroscience Institute will translate into some kinds of new therapies that improve patient outcomes.  She notes how an aging patient population is generating increases in neurological diseases - autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's - is creating economic and psychological challenges and how her work at the NYU Neuroscience Institute aims to foster research science and clinical science collaboration to create new therapies for the diseases. 

Stacie Grossman Bloom is Executive Director for the Neuroscience Institute at the NYU Langone Medical Center.  Previously, she was VP and Scientific Director at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) and, before that, held editorial roles at the Journal of Clinical Investigation and Nature Medicine.  She earned her BA in chemistry and psychology from the University of Delaware, her PhD in Neurobiology and Cell Biology at Georgetown University and did post-doctoral training in Paul Greengard's Nobel Laboratory of Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience at Rockefeller University. 


Erik Michielsen:  What makes your work meaningful?

Stacie Grossman Bloom:  What makes my work meaningful is the hope that what we’re doing will someday reach the patient. The expectation that the research that’s going on at the NYU Neuroscience Institute will have a translational component to it that will allow it to be developed into some kind of a new therapy and that will ultimately be able to improve patient health and patient outcomes especially as the patient population and the population in general is just aging. The affliction of neurological disease like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, the increase in the prevalence of autism in our population, these things are having such a big societal impact on us economically, as well as psychologically. And the hope that the work that we’re doing and what we’re building will have an impact on  alleviating some of that.

Erik Michielsen:  What are some of the signals or some of the steps you look for in working toward that, that goal? 

Stacie Grossman Bloom:  I mean the purpose of the institute is really to build bridges between the basic scientists and the clinicians, to really become a very translational entity. And by translational, I mean it’s a sort of pedestrian phrase but bench to bedside, so everybody talks about the lab work that’s being done at the bench with all of the pipettes and the chemicals but that actually reaching the bedside in the hospital and actually reaching the patient. And one of the purposes of one of the big goals of the NYU Neuroscience Institute because we have both of those populations, we have the basic scientists and we have these amazing clinicians, one of the goals is to bring those 2 populations together and to foster the types of collaborations and conversations that can push the field forward in that kind of a way.