- Dr Hadiyah-Nicole Green has pioneered a promising new treatment which could finally cure cancer
- She became the second African-American woman to earn a PhD in physics from the University of Alabama
- Dr Green had a tough childhood but this did not hold her back
In 2012, Dr Hadiyah-Nicole Green became the second African-American woman to obtain a PhD in physics from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Green was a recipient of a $1.1 million grant to further develop a technology she’s pioneered that uses laser-activated nanoparticles to treat cancer.
Green became the first in her family to attend college. She gained admission to Alabama A&M University with a full scholarship, where she pursued physics and earned her bachelor’s degree in physics and optics in 2003.
After obtaining her first degree, she went on to further her education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham with another full scholarship, where she earned her Master of Science in physics in 2009 and her PhD in physics in 2012.
She spent five years at the Comprehensive Cancer Center and a year at the Department of Pathology.
Green had a difficult childhood. She was orphaned at a very young age and lived with her aunt and uncle in St. Louis, Missouri while growing up.
Between her undergraduate and graduate work, Green’s aunt, Ora Lee, was diagnosed with cancer but refused to go through with treatment which oftentimes leaves patients weak and ill.
Green spent nearly three months caring for her aunt until she died. Three months after her death, her uncle, General Lee Smith, was also diagnosed with cancer.
While caring for her uncle, Green watched as her uncle suffered from the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation, which, to her, seemed as bad if not worse than the symptoms of her aunt who did not receive treatment.
She realized the impact of chemotherapy on the body and wanted to find a better treatment for it.
After she graduated, Green became an assistant professor at Tuskegee University in the Department of Material Science and Engineering.
In 2016, she also became an assistant professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in the Physiology department.
Dr Green became the first person to successfully cure cancer in mice using nanoparticles. She hopes to develop the technique for use on humans.
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