Throughout February, Alabama NewsCenter will feature profiles of state icons in honor of Black History Month.
Hadiyah-Nicole Green is a medical physicist who pioneered the use of laser-activated nanoparticles for cancer treatment. She is the second black woman and the fourth black person ever to earn a doctoral degree in physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Orphaned as a young girl, she was raised by her aunt and uncle in St. Louis. Her aunt died of cancer and Green watched as cancer treatments took a toll on her uncle.
After earning her undergraduate degree at Alabama A&M University, Green attended UAB for her master’s and Ph.D. in physics. It was at UAB where she began her research on nanoparticles. Using nanoparticles injected into cancer cells, she helped develop a treatment in which lasers could be used to target those cancer cells.
She went on to further her research as a professor at Tuskegee University and remains active in medical research and mentoring youths.