Research in the News

Author: Rebecca Hicks

We are excited to report that multiple research projects in the department have garnered media attention. These projects include a low-cost analytical tool for use in under-developed regions and a new HPV test.


Marya Lieberman’s work on the PADs Project has been highlighted in C&E News, the Indiana Business Journal, and many other publications. Marya is the leader of a collaborative research team of faculty and students (from high school to graduate students) working to develop Paper Analytical Devices (PADs) for use in under-developed countries. These very low cost PADs serve as analytical tools that can run multiple tests simultaneously without the need for electricity. Furthermore, the results are analyzed via a computer program accessed through a cell phone, avoiding the need for on-site personnel to be trained to interpret the results. PADs are currently being developed to detect counterfeit pharmaceuticals, initially targeting anti-malarial, tuberculosis, anti-retroviral, and antibiotic compounds, as well as Tamiflu and Panadol.


Sharon Stack, Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth Riley Director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute, was featured on ABC news for a new HPV test. While cases of HPV in young girls are declining after introduction of vaccines, many individuals are still infected with HPV, which can lead to a number of cancers including oral cancer. Currently, tests to detect HPV are expensive (around $48), but Stack’s research with collaborator Hsueh-Chia Chang, Bayer Professor of Engineering in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, could lead to tests to prescreen for HPV and oral cancer that are closer to $5 per test.