Blake Ford is from Mount Airy, Maryland and now attends Stevenson University. He is an uprising senior Chemistry major. He is also in the accelerated Master’s program in Forensic Science offered at Stevenson. He has had one prior research experience, which took place in the summer of 2015 at Stevenson University. During that time, he and a research partner worked on two research projects relating to the Chesapeake Bay. Together they presented posters at two conferences: The Ecological Society of America in Baltimore, Maryland and the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation in Portland, Oregon. Blake has two on campus jobs at Stevenson, one working as a R.E.A.L. peer educator, and another working as a student assistant in the fitness centers. He was also the treasurer of Stevenson’s ACS chemistry club last year, which won most outstanding club at Stevenson for the second year in a row. His career goal is to become a toxicologist at a relatively large crime lab.
At UMBC he works under graduate student Noah Robinson in Dr. Kyoung’s lab. The project involves examining weak, short-lived, protein-protein interactions that are generally difficult to study. To do this, nano chambers are developed using vesicles as cage. These vesicles are attached to a glass surface for imaging on a microscope. Vesicle fusion will bring different components into these nano chambers and transient protein-protein interactions are observed. His role is focused on utilizing home-written MATLAB code to convert videos into traces. He then analyzes these traces to find distinct signals of fusion as the lab works towards a working fusion system.