Dr. Bloch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with a joint appointment in International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Bloch is also the Associate Director of Transfusion Medicine and current Director of Hemapheresis at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Dr. Bloch is originally from South Africa where he completed his medical school (University of Cape Town) and clinical training. Following completion of a combined residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (Tufts Medical Center), post-graduate fellowship in Transfusion Medicine (University of California San Francisco/UCSF), and masters of science in Global Health (UCSF) he continued research at Blood Systems Research Institute while teaching at UCSF in Laboratory Medicine and Global Health Sciences.
Dr. Bloch's major research focus is neglected and emerging infectious diseases particularly in the context of blood transfusion safety. Dr. Bloch has drawn on his diverse background to advance a longstanding interest in the interplay between blood transfusion and infectious diseases, particularly in low and low-middle income countries where transfusion-transmitted infection remains a key metric of suboptimal policies and practices. Blood transfusion networks afford invaluable opportunity to study neglected (e.g., Babesia) and emerging infectious diseases (Zika, SARS-CoV2), as donors contribute large volume samples across a diverse geography. Importantly, many —if not most—infectious risks to the blood supply remain neglected (e.g., malaria, bacteria), particularly in low resource settings, whereby research can yield high impact public health intervention. Blood transfusion itself can also be used to contend with emerging pathogens, as illustrated by the use of convalescent plasma to prevent and/or treat COVID-19.
He has a particular interest in babesiosis, a tick-borne parasitic infection that is endemic to parts of the United States (US). Babesia is globally ubiquitous, yet lack of awareness, in part due to historically limited diagnostic tools, has impeded greater recognition of its role in human disease. Dr. Bloch has participated in studies to develop both antibody and molecular tests for detection of Babesia. The studies have also been used to understand the biology of Babesia infection as well as to conduct surveillance outside of the US.
His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health. The author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Bloch is an active member of the International Society of Blood Transfusion, AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks), and the FDA Blood Product Advisory Committee.