Medicine has become a vital part of our ability to live functional and healthy lives. Researcher, Nancy Allbritton, explains the importance of medicines in our world and how to use them in a safe and beneficial way. In her presentation, Nancy points out how mixing certain medicines with particular drinks or food, such as grapefruits, can impact the way in which the medicine reacts in your body. Nancy goes on to explain the issues the come with putting a drug on the market, such as the controversial testing process, high costs, and lengthy approval and release process. She also touches on the advanced technologies that influence drug production and how these are changing the world of medicine. By explaining all of the factors that go into producing and using medicines, Nancy breaks down both the positive and negative ways in which medicine affects our bodies.
In April 2017, Nancy Allbritton received the 2017 UNC Chapel Hill Inventor of the Year Award for her research resulting in technological advancements and commercialization in several areas including cell signaling and organ on a chip development. Allbritton was part of a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and N.C. State University that was awarded a $5.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop “gut on a chip” technology the size of a dime. Potential applications of this technology include basic science and applications relative to microbiota, drug development and screening and more. Allbritton’s research interests include biomedical microdevices, pharmacoengineering, cell signaling and microfabicated systems. She uses a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving, bringing together ideas and technologies from biology, chemistry, physics and engineering. The founder of three companies, Allbritton currently has 12 patents stemming from her research, with nine more pending.