She is one of the less than 100 black women physicists in the U.S. She is also making groundbreaking research in the fight against cancer.
She is Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green. She came up with the treatment-altering idea of using lasers to treat cancer to avoid the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Green was awarded a $1.1 million grant to develop a cancer treatment involving lasers and nanoparticles earlier this year.
Though Green is not the first to propose the use of lasers and nanoparticles to treat cancers, she has been able to work out the kinks in parts of the technology that have been problematic such as nanoparticle delivery and seeing success in living animals.
“As a physicist, I’ve created a physical treatment that is not specific to the biology of cancer,” says Green. “It’s a platform technology. It’s not cancer type–specific, though it can treat cancer specifically. That’s a concept my friends who are biologists struggle with.”
This remarkable woman of STEM has won several awards including Alabama A&M University 2003 Presidential Scholar, NASA Space Grant Consortium 2002 Scholar, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation 2003 Scholar awards.
Finding solutions to enhance cancer treatment is no doubt driven by her early life. Green lost both parents to cancer at a young age. After watching her uncle go through chemotherapy and radiation, she was inspired to innovate.
She graduated from Alabama A&M University, earning a bachelor’s in physics and optics. From there, she earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Green will join a panel of other successful and inspiring women of color at Black Enterprise’s TechConneXt technology summit. She and the other panelists will talk about overcoming the challenges of being both a woman and a person of color while pursuing a STEM-related career path.
– Additional reporting by Safon Floyd.
Register for Black Enterprise’s TechConneXt Technology Summit: The Intersection of Innovation and Opportunity, held October 10-11, 2016 at the San Francisco Marriott Waterfront Hotel!