JOHN BRADFORD BISHOP
Brad Bishop was born in Greenwood, South Carolina, son of Bobbie Stepp Bishop and John L. Bishop. He was raised in Toccoa, Georgia before moving to Floyd County with his family in 1969. Brad graduated from Pepperell High Scholl in 1973, marrying Sue Champion on his last day of school. After graduation, he worked at a McDonalds restaurant, becoming a manager before deciding to enroll in college. He attended Floyd College from 1978-1980, and in 1983 he received a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Berry College.
From 1983-85, Brad worked as an Aerospace Engineer/Intelligence Analyst at the Naval Intelligence Support Center in Washington, DC. Form 1985-1992 he studied at the University of Alabama in Birmingham earning Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Physics.
Following graduation, Brad continued to work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the Center for Macromolecular Crystallography. His work in that area led to experiments on the protein growth of insulin crystals in outer space. The experiments were carried out on several NASA space shuttle missions. The tests ultimately will result in the creation of a time-released insulin capsule which will, when manufactured, eliminate the need for diabetics to take multiple insulin shots throughout the day.
In the fall of 1994, Brad returned to Floyd College as an Assistant Professor of Physics and Mathematics. It was during that academic year that he spearheaded the plans for the renovation of the rundown Astronomy Lab, a project made possible by a grant from the Board of Regents.
The life of this creative, intelligent man was tragically cut short in the summer of 1995. He left behind his wife and three children, and the legacy of the Bishop Observatory which will touch the lives of countless students in the years to come.