Floyd E. Bloom wins 2005 Sarnat Prize in Mental Health

WASHINGTON -- The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has awarded the 2005 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health to Floyd E. Bloom, chairman, chief executive officer, and chief scientific officer of Neurome Inc., La Jolla, Calif. Consisting of a medal and $20,000, the prize was presented at the IOM's annual meeting.

The Sarnat Prize is being given to Bloom in recognition of the international scope and significance of his contributions to biological sciences, neuroscience in particular. Bloom was one of the first neurobiologists to appreciate the need for in-depth study of the roles and functions of the brain's neurotransmitters, and to elucidate the roles and interactions of specific neurotransmitter systems. His research teams were the first to identify a number of genes expressed exclusively in the brain. His work led to key revelations about the interaction between medications and neurotransmitters, as well as how alcohol and other addictive substances act on the brain. Bloom also pioneered applications of software programs and databases that aid in the imaging and analysis of neurological functions. Based on his conviction that pinpointing gene expressions in the brain will lead to new understanding of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, Bloom co-founded a biotechnology firm called Neurome Inc. in 2000 that seeks new ways to diagnose and treat these diseases.

In addition to his research pursuits, Bloom served five years as editor in chief of SCIENCE, where he led the publication into the Internet age by overseeing the development of an online version of the journal. Bloom further expanded the journal's readership by partnering with scientific associations overseas to appeal to an international audience and make SCIENCE accessible to other nations.

Bloom was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1977 and the Institute of Medicine in 1982. From July 1989 u

Contact: Michelle Strikowsky
The National Academies

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