Dr. Bloomfield to Speak at Featured Faculty Series

Written by: Ashley Green (cehdcomm@tamu.edu)
Post date: November 16, 2015

Dr. Susan Bloomfield will be one of three faculty members from the College of Education and Human Development to speak at the inaugural Featured Faculty Series on November 23rd.  She will speak on her time at Texas A&M and the impact she has made in higher education.

Dr. Bloomfield, now a professor of kinesiology, joined the faculty of Texas A&M in 1993.  Her research focuses on the integrative physiology of bone, particularly in understanding the impact of exercise and disuse on bone health and how this is modified by other factors such as caloric restriction, radiation exposure and gender. 

Dr. Bloomfield describes her path to bone health and exercise research as a story of serendipity.  When she was considering which program to join for her doctoral degree, her first choice was the University of Wisconsin.  The only faculty member she was interested in working with there did research in the area of bone health and exercise.  “So I thought that was interesting.  I didn’t know much about it and few exercise science researchers were doing work in that area.  I thought it would be a promising area to get involved in because of good funding opportunities.”

Dr. Bloomfield went on to get her doctoral degree from Ohio State University where she was able to align with a faculty member in the medical school doing research on spinal cord injuries and bone mass.  Dr. Bloomfield says that is what launched her into the disuse bone field.  “It was purely, at first, a practical decision based on who I would like to work with in graduate school.  It turned out to be a good springboard into a fascinating, niche area.”

A majority of Dr. Bloomfield’s research at Texas A&M has been funded by NASA because of the interest in why astronauts lose bone mass when they are in space.  A current NASA project on which Dr. Bloomfield is the principal investigator, focuses on nutrition and disuse because International Space Station crew members accumulate extra iron while they are in space and that exacerbate bone loss observed in-flight.

Since 2012, Dr. Bloomfield has served as Assistant Provost in Texas A&M’s Office of Graduate and Professional studies.  She considers her position one of the best in the office because she gets to work on the professional development activities for graduate students across the university.  “One of my passions is working with graduate students, mentoring them and seeing them grow professionally.  Having a graduate student win an award is more exciting than when I win an award.  That’s certainly been a theme in my years here.  It is what led me to be Graduate Studies Chair in my department and eventually to this position.”

When it comes to the future of Texas A&M, Dr. Bloomfield hopes the university brings in more activities that emphasize excellence in scholarship and give faculty and students the chance to collaborate with and learn from top-notch scholars.  “We invest a lot in these junior faculty and graduate students because this is an investment in our future and the future of our disciplines.  Making sure they succeed is a smart investment for the departments and colleges.”