Black Physicist Develops Cancer Cell-Killing Technology

Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green has developed technology that kills cancer cells with lasers

GROUNDBREAKING: Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green

DR. HADIYAH-Nicole Green 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.

Green came up with a treatment-altering idea of using lasers to treat cancer to avoid the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. As a result, she 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 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.”

Green graduated from Alabama A&M University, earning a bachelor’s in physics and optics. Following that, she earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

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