African-American scientist breaks ground in cancer research
Dr. Hadiyah- Nicole Green the second African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. And is the recipient of a $1.1 million grant to further develop a technology she’s pioneered that uses laser-activated nanoparticles to treat cancer.
Testing her treatment on mice was a success and Dr. Green became the first person to successfully cure cancer using nanoparticles.
It was after an internship at NASA that Green realized the potential use of laser in cancer research. She wanted to use her background in lasers to target cancerous cells without hurting healthy cells. Specifically, she developed a method using lasers are used to "illuminate" the nanoparticles to create an image of cancerous cells and decrease the amount of time it takes to target these cells.
Dr. Green’s ultimate goal is to translate these treatments from the laboratory into humans to demonstrate efficacy in a variety of cancer models, including those in head and neck, breast, colorectal, brain, lung, ovarian, cervical, pancreatic, anal, skin, and prostate cancers. In all, this more than $200 million endeavor could lead to saving some of the 8.8 million people who die each year from cancer worldwide.
Green is also the founder of the Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit aimed at making cancer treatments more accessible, affordable and effective without causing more pain in the patient.