Research Interests: Computational biochemistry and biology teaching; career tools for grad students and postdocs; biological consequences of poverty.
A consistent theme in my research career has been the biophysics of DNA. My laboratory has used a variety of experimental tools, including laser light scattering, electron microscopy and scanning probe microscopy, single molecule stretching with laser optical traps, and isothermal titration calorimetry. We have also employed a variety of theoretical techniques, including hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, polyelectrolyte theory, statistical mechanics, and computer modeling. We have particularly focused on the mechanism of condensation of DNA by multivalent cations, its response to stretching and bending forces, and its behavior in crowded, strongly interacting solutions.
After a number of recent years in full-time university administration, I no longer have a research group. However, I am continuing scholarly efforts in three major areas:
- Approaches to integrating computational tools into biology and biochemistry teaching
- Career tools for graduate students and postdocs
- Public policy aspects of the biological consequences of poverty
Bloomfield, V. A., Crothers, D. M. and Tinoco, I., Jr. (2000), Nucleic Acids: Structures, Properties and Functions, University Science Press, Mill Valley CA.
Bloomfield, V.A. (2005) Ch. 11 in Peters, S.J., Jordan, N.R., Adamek, M. and Alter, T.R. (Eds.) Engaging Campus and Community: The Practice of Public Scholarship in the American Land-Grant University System. Dayton, OH: The Kettering Foundation Press.
Bloomfield, V.A (2005)., “Civic Engagement and Graduate Education”, April 2005 issue of CGS Communicator, Council of Graduate Schools.
Bloomfield, V.A. and El-Fakahany, E.E. (2008) The Chicago Guide to Your Career in Science: A Toolkit for Students and Postdocs, University of Chicago Press.
Bloomfield, V.A. (2009) Computer Simulation and Data Analysis in Molecular Biology and Biophysics: An Introduction Using R. Springer.
Bloomfield, V.A. (2009) "Using R for Computer Simulation and Data Analysis in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics" in Shiflet, A., ed., ICCS 2009 - 3rd Workshop on Teaching Computational Science, Springer.
Honors and Awards
1969-71: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow
1971-76: NIH Career Development Award
1979: Fellow, AAAS
1985-86: Fogarty Scholar-in-Residence, NIH
1987-88: President, Biophysical Society
1992-97: Editor, Biophysical Journal
1998: Distinguished Service Award, Biophysical Society
2011: President's Award for Outstanding Service