Science Exploration Series: "Finding Fake Drugs"


Location: 101 Jordan Hall of Science

PAD project

Are you looking for activities around campus on football Saturdays? Stop by the Science Exploration Series in the Jordan Hall of Science! This event is free and open to the public.

Prior to the USC game, Marya Lieberman, associate professor of chemistry, will give a presentation called, "Finding Fake Drugs."

In the United States, we trust that the medicine we buy is high quality.   But most people in the world cannot make that assumption.  In many countries, the technology and regulatory processes needed to assure a safe drug supply are lacking, and unscrupulous sellers know there is little chance of getting caught.  Desperately sick people who try to buy pharmaceuticals in many developing countries face a 10-30% chance of getting a substandard or falsified product, which might contain flour or aspirin instead of a lifesaving antibiotic.  A team of chemists and computer scientists at Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College began to ask whether a new approach might improve the odds of finding fake drugs.  We designed an inexpensive paper test card that can quickly test pills and tablets, and we are using these tests in Africa now.  In this talk, you will hear about how work completed by the undergraduates and high school students on the project team is contributing to solving this global problem.