Stephanie Healey | September 30, 2014
Fifth year chemistry graduate student Abigail Weaver recently received a 2014 Baxter Young Investigator Award for her research project, “New Analytical Tools for Qualitative Pharmaceutical Analysis in Field Settings.” Weaver earned a $2,000 cash prize and the opportunity to present her research on-site at Baxter International in Deerfield, Ill. earlier this month.
The counterfeit pharmaceutical industry has been valued at over one billion dollars and continues to provide the market with imposter medications that are poor quality and potentially harmful to patients. This problem is especially prevalent in developing countries where up to 60% of medications have been found to be substandard. Tests to analyze potential counterfeit drugs are often expensive and require lab equipment, which may not be an option in low-resource settings. Weaver’s graduate research has focused on tackling this problem by developing an inexpensive analytical tool that provides a chemical profile of a pharmaceutical without lab equipment.