A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. William (Bill) Blaker attended Washington University in St. Louis, where he received his bachelor's degree in chemistry. He then earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry (1978) from the University of Missouri where his dissertation research involved brain membrane lipid alterations during hibernation in hamsters. Dr. Blaker became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he worked on the toxicology of heavy metals on myelination during development and on the characteristics of lipid axonal transport. From there, he took a position as a staff fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington, D.C. There, he initiated his research on behavioral, pharmacological, and biochemical aspects of the cholinergic septohippocampal pathway, a projection that he studies to this day. Following his time with the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Blaker became an assistant professor at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, where he continued his research and taught biochemistry and nervous system courses. He joined the Furman University Biology Department in 1990 and has recently expanded his research focus to include the regulation of gene expression in rat brain neurons undergoing sprouting. Dr. Blaker is currently a member of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) and the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN).
In his spare time, Dr. Blaker enjoys following the St. Louis Cardinals, reading history, walking his dogs, and using slide rules (Email him if you don't know what these are).