Polly Fordyce

B.A. 2000 University of Colorado

I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2000 with degrees in physics and biology. While at Colorado, I studied high energy physics working with Professor Tony Barker. I entered the Ph.D. program in physics at Stanford in the fall of 2000, and have been working in the Block Lab since I got to Stanford.

I worked with Matt Lang to achieve simultaneous, spatially coincident optical trapping and single molecule fluorescence. We constructed this dual instrument and designed an assay using fluorescently labeled DNA duplexes to demonstrate the instrument's capabilities. We also measured unbinding force histograms for forces applied perpendicular and parallel to the DNA long axis, demonstrating the dependence of unbinding force on the direction of force application.

I am currently collaborating with Professor Steven Rosenfeld at the University to observe simultaneous stepping and single molecule fluorescence records for kinesin motion.

I am also currently working with Michael Woodside to study the force-induced strand separations of DNA hairpins. We are trying to quantify the effects of varying hairpin length, sequence, and buffer conditions on hairpin stability.