Theodore H. Bullock
Theodore H. Bullock, PhD, a renowned neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Past President of the Society for Neuroscience, died Monday, December 20, after being admitted to UCSD’s Thornton Hospital for breathing problems. He was 90.
Bullock was born May 16, 1915, in Nanking, China, where his parents were Presbyterian missionaries. He earned his bachelor’s in zoology in 1936 and his doctorate in 1940, both from the University of California, Berkeley.
UCLA hired him in 1946. Over the next 20 years, he helped pioneer the field of comparative and integrative neurobiology, and acted as the primary adviser for 18 students who received doctorates. He was admitted to the National Academy of Sciences in 1963.
In 1965, he collaborated with Adrian Horridge to write “Structure and Function in the Nervous Systems of Invertebrates,” a two-volume reference book still considered indispensable by scientific scholars.
He joined the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine’s then-new Department of Neurosciences in 1966. While there, he acted as primary adviser for another 17 students who received doctorates. Bullock was intrigued by the idea of bridging the gap between marine biology and medicine, and became internationally recognized for his work in discovering how nervous systems work.
He retired from the faculty in 1982, but maintained a presence on the Scripps campus, visiting his lab a few days a week, where he studied the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system.
Bullock served as President of the Society for Neuroscience from 1973-74. His awards included the Karl Spencer Lashley Prize from the American Philosophical Society, a Queen’s Fellow in marine biology in Australia, and honorary doctorates from the University of Loyola, Chicago and the University of Frankfurt. In January 2005, approximately 100 people attended a Society of Comparitive and Integrative Biology conference in San Diego that included a salute to his career.
Bullock is survived by his wife, Martha; son, Stephen; daughter, Christine Kazman; and five grandchildren.