Remembering Dr. Myer Bloom (1928-2016)

February 15, 2016

It was to our sadness that our wonderful friend and colleague Dr. Mayer Bloom passed away on February 9th.

Myer joined the UBC Physics Department in 1956 and initiated a broad program in NMR that continues to this day. His retirement in 1993 was celebrated with a magnificent symposium at Whistler attended by a large number of colleagues from around the world. He is very well known internationally for his fundamental contributions to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Physics, and to the applications of NMR to probe the structure and dynamics of biological membranes. Some of his best-known contributions were in defining the proton and deuteron NMR lineshapes from hydrogen nuclei in lipid hydrocarbon chains in both large multilamellar preparations and in smaller lipid vesicles, as well as in the presence of membrane proteins. He created the ‘dePakeing’ technique, which enables the extraction of single orientation deuteron NMR spectra from powder pattern spectra obtained from lipid hydrocarbon chains. Myer’s reputation led to collaborations with many other researchers from all over the world, who came to Room 100 for short visits or sabbaticals to learn how to do NMR in membranes. In the late 1980’s Myer led in the organization of a ‘Science of Soft Materials and Interfaces’ research program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Among the many prestigious awards obtained by Myer are the Sloan and Guggenheim Fellowships, the Steacie Prize, Gold Medal of the Canadian Association of Physics and the Canada Council Killam Memorial Prize for Natural Sciences. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, of The American Physical Society and of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. He has received honorary degrees from the Technical University of Denmark and Concordia University.

Myer will be missed by a very large community of scientists from all over the world who have taken advantage of his vast and deep understanding of NMR. His journey was detailed in his book, Lucky Hazards: My Life in Physics. A collection of videos from the 1993 symposium organized in honour of him can be found here.

Our sincerest condolences go out to his friends and family. We will update this page with additional information when it becomes available. This summary of his life was prepared by Drs. Walter Hardy and Alex MacKay.




Celebration of the Life of Myer Bloom

You are all invited to a Celebration of the Life of Myer Bloom at Cecil Green House, on May 25, from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

RSVP's to will be greatly appreciated so, refreshments can be planned for. But if you are not sure, or forget to reply, just come anyway! Everyone is welcome. Drinks and appetizers will be served.

There will be some organized short talks, but feel free to bring your own!