Fisher Lecture - Dr. Marya Lieberman

Fisher Lecture - Dr. Marya Lieberman

Contact: Deborah Duncan, duncan@roanoke.edu

Dr. Lieberman will give a talk entitled, "Got Fakes?"  

In 2016, capsules full of powdered chalk were labeled as “amoxicillin” and sold in markets in Southeast Asia.  The World Health Organization estimates that one out of every ten medicines sold in a low-income country is falsified or substandard. How are all these fakes getting into the market?  There are instrumental methods for measuring the quality of every type of medicine sold, but the instruments are so expensive that many countries cannot prevent bad quality products from entering their markets.  Often, it takes more than a year to figure out that a batch of product is fake or substandard, and by that time, most of the batch has been sold to patients.  How can scientists help to find these fakes?   Working with pharmacists and regulatory agents from low and middle income countries, my research group developed a paper analytical device, or PAD, that can identify active and inactive ingredients in over 60 types of medicine in just 5 minutes. The PAD creates a colored bar code, so the user can see if the correct ingredients are present and if fillers like chalk have been added.  Most importantly, the PAD was designed to work well outside the lab.  This talk will focus on how the PAD works and how it could impact the problem of fake medicines. 

Audience members will have a chance to try out the PAD and discuss possible applications of this technology to the problem of opioid overdoses in the US.