Marya Lieberman, PhD, is an associate professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at Notre Dame, where she studies self-assembling systems. She is interested in the constraints of carrying out chemical analysis in low resource settings and devised a lab-on-paper to speed up the detection of low quality and fake medicines. These paper test cards are being used to screen hundreds of medications in Kenya and other developing countries. Fast field tests like these are a concrete step towards detection and removal of the very poor quality pharmaceuticals that kill hundreds of thousands of people every year.
As an undergrad, Marya earned her BS in chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For grad school, she was awarded a Hertz Fellowship and studied de novo protein design with Tomikazu Sasaki at the University of Washington in Seattle, earning her PhD in 1994. Afterwards, she received an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship for work in surface chemistry at the California Institute of Technology with Nathan Lewis.