ND sophomore Heather DiLallo conducts research on the PADs project in China

Author: Tessa Raymond

In Summer 2017, Heather DiLallo, a junior chemistry major at Saint Mary’s College and sophomore chemical engineering major at the University of Notre Dame (4+1 Dual Degree Engineering Program student), conducted research on the PADs Project. The PADs Project is an interdisciplinary project with the goal of developing simple, inexpensive paper-based tests that can be used by almost anyone, anywhere to screen for substandard or counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Heather received funding from the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies and the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement at the University of Notre Dame to conduct an independent research project in China for 10 days with support from the PADs Project. She traveled, with interpreter Joshua Pine (‘19), to Gansu Province, Qinghai province, Tianjin, and Beijing and collected 54 samples of albendazole, an anti-worming medication, and spoke with medical experts to gain greater understanding of quality controls for medicine in China. Upon returning to the U.S., she has run PADs on all 54 samples and is in the process of verifying the results using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography instrumentation. The results of this study will be published to the benefit of the scientific community and the Chinese community and used to complete Heather’s senior thesis in chemistry.