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Student Honored for Tamper-Proof Technology for Opioids

May 20, 2019

A high school freshman's novel technology to prevent tampering of opioids, which has a provisional patent, was honored last week as the first-place winner in the National Institute on Drug Abuse's (NIDA's) annual science competition for high school students.

Aditya Tummala, who attends Brookings High School in Brookings, S.D., was honored for his project called Tampr-X. He developed a protein matrix-based technology that prevents crushing of an opioid pill and includes other components that resist a number of tampering and misuse threats.

“While there have been attempts to develop tamper-resistant pills, there is a critical need for more innovation and new ideas in this field,” said NIDA Director Nora Volkow, MD. “We are delighted to be able to amplify his idea to scientists working on this challenge.”

The second-place Addiction Science Award at the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair went to Sid Thakker of James Madison High School in Vienna, Va., for his work in editing the gene expression of a receptor linked to nicotine addiction. The third-place award went to Nikita Rohila of Stuttgart High School in Stuttgart, Ark., for development of a teen survey that helped to identify contributing factors to high-risk behaviors, such as unhealthy amounts of smartphone and social media use.

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