Morehouse School of Medicine Assistant Professor
Innovate cancer treatment focusing on the use of lasers and nanoparticles
Second African-American women to earn Ph.D. in physics from UAB
Founder of Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation
Image Source: Morehouse School of Medicine
Today is World Cancer Day and this year’s theme, “Close the Care Gap,” is all about making sure our leaders know that we demand a commitment to prioritizing cancer, creating innovative strategies designed to confront inequity and investing our resources to achieve a just and cancer-free world. Morehouse School of Medicine Assistant Professor Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green is one of those individuals doing amazing work in the battle with cancer using new technologies to change how we view treatment options.
While working at Tuskegee University, word arrived in November 2015 that Green was awarded over one million dollars in grant funds to continue the research she started as part of her doctoral work focusing on laser treatment of cancer using nanotechnology and biomedical optics. When her aunt, who had raised her, was diagnosed with cancer and refused treatment, Green began to think about how modern medicine treats cancer and if there was a better way that would limit the severe side effects of traditional methods of cancer eradication. While not the first to propose using lasers and nanoparticles in this manner, her work has led to the development of patent pending protocols that are showing promise in living animals. With the newly awarded grant, Green sees a potential to take these protocols to clinical trials.
In her efforts to move her treatment from the laboratory to human based trials, she founded the Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation in 2016, the same year she was recruited to join the faculty at Morehouse. The goals of the foundation include fundraising to start with clinical trials in head and neck cancers with the hopes of expanding to a variety of tumor types and an overall mission of changing the way cancer is treated, and reducing cancer-patient suffering by providing a treatment that is accessible, affordable, and most importantly effective.
As only the second African-American women to earn a Ph.D. in physics from University of Alabama-Birmingham, it is important to Green that she gives back to the community stating, “I did not get here by myself. Because of that clarity, I know my responsibility to encourage and mentor the next generation.”
Written by Angela Goad