Black Physicist Awarded $1.1M for Cancer Research


Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, an assistant professor at Tuskegee University, has taken on the challenge of defeating cancer with the help of a million-dollar grant. reports that Dr. Green, one of fewer than 100 Black female physicists in America, was given the $1.1 million grant a few months ago to study technology that targets particular cancer cells. Green explained that while medicine helps most patients, it doesn’t work for all.

The disease played a major role in Green’s own life. The St. Louis native attended Alabama A&M University, earning a bachelor’s degree in physics with a concentration in fiber-optics. On a full scholarship, Green attended University of Alabama at Birmingham for her master’s and Ph.D. degrees. After her parents passed away, Green lived with her aunt and uncle, both of whom were diagnosed with cancer.

Taking time off to help her uncle with radiation and chemotherapy, she witnessed first-hand the effects of treatment. Green said her aunt decided not to undergo the same treatment due to fear of the side-effects. This experience, paired with her education, caused Green to look into the theory that lasers could treat cancer cells. Lasers have already been considered by biologists, but Green has been able to create a platform technology that isn’t custom-made for one type of cancer.

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