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Junior’s enthusiasm goes beyond research

Adam Blanden was making an impact in the research world even before he came to Binghamton. The junior is now applying his leadership skills to other positions on and off campus.

“Binghamton has provided me with enough academic enrichment that I’m very happy in and outside of my fields of expertise,” said Blanden, a biochemistry major from Truxton. “I’ve been challenged to think in different ways by my professors. And I’ve been able to specialize in my own area of expertise.”

During high school, Blanden took part in a Cornell University rice genetics and plant breeding lab. The lab’s goal was to engineer a strain of rice that could be grown in different places, helping to alleviate the suffering of many.

“That summer, I realized the power of science,” he said. “I became romanced by the power that science has to affect the lives of people.”

Blanden brought that desire to Binghamton, where he works with Susan Bane, professor of chemistry, on how different molecules interact with the protein tubulin. He spent last summer as an intern in a Health Sciences and Technology program sponsored by Harvard and MIT. He was one of more than a dozen students studying the effects of light on medicine at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine.

“He has great enthusiasm and dedication to his research,” Bane said. “He spends so much time in the lab that I sometimes forget that he is an undergraduate student taking a full load of courses!”

Blanden also will have his first paper published this month. The Journal of Hospital Medicine will publish his work on patients’ perceptions of caregivers, a project that Blanden worked on with Cortland Regional Medical Center.

The 20-year-old wants to enter a PhD/MD program after graduation and eventually focus on biomedical-optics research.

“I really, really love what I do,” he said. “Eventually, anything becomes ‘work,’ but it beats working for a living.”

Blanden also is active outside the research world. He is a member of Campus Bible Fellowship and works as a volunteer instructor for ARISE and Ski, which helps disabled children learn how to ski.

Blanden has been named undergraduate representative to the University’s newly formed Task Force for Undergraduate Education in the Digital Generation.

“I’m thrilled that I get to take part in this process about what needs to be done over the next 10 years,” he said. “I’m not just here to be quiet and go along for the ride. I enjoy being able to make changes for the better. When I leave here, I hope I will at least put things in motion that will make Binghamton better as a university overall.”
 

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Last Updated: 10/14/08