FGCU professor and students file patent that could change taking medicine

An accident at FGCU is leading to medical innovation in Southwest Florida. An associate professor said it could lead to a new way to take medicine. WINK News got an exclusive look inside the lab, where students are building on that discovery.

Dr. Greg Boyce and his students at FGCU discovered Vitamin B6 can help deliver molecules like fragrances to human skin. And they have filed a patent to protect the findings.

“It’s extremely exciting to be working on something like this,” said Dr. Greg Boyce, a chemistry professor at FGCU. “The ability to deliver certain types of molecules safely with fewer side effects.”

It has been a long-term project for Boyce and his students, who have been working on this innovation for two years at the university.

“And what we hope to do in the future with this is use it as drug delivery system for medicines,” Boyce said.

Jacob Foster is one of the students working alongside Boyce to make these ideas become reality.

“It’s really exciting,” Foster said. “I hope to continue this research in the pharmaceutical industry.”

That could revolutionize the way people get medications in years to come.

FGCU student Ranjika Pingale is also on the team of students working with Boyce to develop the new science.

“Instead of being toxic and expensive, it’s really cost effective,” Pingale said.

That’s because the Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient already found in fruits and vegetables. Boyce said it helps regulate the human metabolism with the ability to treat skin conditions. Boyce said using that to deliver medicine would be better.

“Certain drugs spike your system and give you side effects, but this would be a slow release,” Boyce said.

That is one reason Boyce’s students are passionate about getting these products to the market in the future.

“Down the road, I definitely see it in health and beauty,” Pingale said.

Boyce said it is too soon to predict what kinds of medicine could be delivered using vitamins, which is why Foster said the work they have accomplished as a team and continue to do is important.

“Without research like this, we wouldn’t be able to push the ball forward,” Foster said.

Reporter:Channing Frampton
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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