Floyd Bloom: Building a bridge to the future  pg. 9

“Do you treat the disease when it’s so bad that nothing your body does will bring it back into health? Or do you try to detect the first point at which you veered off the normal healthy track and get a medication that will keep you healthy?” he asks. “The right time to treat Alzheimer’s patients might be when they’re 30 years of age.”

Therein lies the root of the problem with American health care: There is no room for what Bloom calls “medical engineers,” scientists and physicians who could design and implement earlier treatments or even ways of preventing the most debilitating diseases. “We have chemical engineers, we have civil engineers,” he says. “They take the rules of physics and bend them to the needs of society. We need somebody who can make the transistors that can make medicine.”

Bloom raises his arms for emphasis. “I want to be able to be in this big, bubbling vat of new information, and this clamoring throng of patients in need,” he says, “and make soup that will feed the hungry.”

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