Tuskegee, Ala. (November 3, 2015) – The National Institutes of Health reports that of the estimated 1,658,370 new cases of cancer that will be diagnosed this year, nearly half of those people will lose their battle against the disease. For many cancer patients, early detection and proper treatment are the deciding factors between life and death, but Tuskegee University is working on revolutionary research to swing the odds in their favor.
“The broader impact (on the community) of this research may include shorter treatment times, cheaper costs, and decreased side effects, leading to improved patient prognosis, quality of life, and life span for many cancer patients,” said Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics.
The Veterans Administration HBCU-Research Scientist Training Program Career Development Award has awarded Green a $1.1 million grant to work on a patent-pending 3-in-1-platform technology to target, image, and treat cancer. Utilizing laser-activated and tumor-targeted nanoparticles to treat tumors in a manner that is more localized and less devastating than chemotherapy and radiation, the project could give doctors a more efficient weapon in their arsenal to fight the disease. Part of the pending patent is a nanoparticle-enabled 10-minute laser treatment that results in ~100 percent tumor shrinkage.
“Most current treatments do not result in 100 percent elimination of a tumor after one treatment or even after several treatments that can last for hours over the course of months,” Green said.
Green is the principal investigator for the grant and she will collaborate with the Birmingham VA Medical Center and the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Services. She has been at Tuskegee since 2013 and holds adjunct appointments in the Department of Materials Science in the College of Engineering and the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health. Her project will provide the opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in interdisciplinary research.
“Dr. Green is one of our many fine STEM research faculty members whose engagement with our students is not limited to the classroom but extends into many different facets of campus life,” said Dr. Brian L. Johnson, Tuskegee University president. “I heartily applaud Dr. Green on this well-deserved award.”
Green graduated with honors from Alabama A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a minor in mathematics in 2003. She received her doctorate in physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has more than 10 years of training and research experience, initially in optics and nanotechnology and subsequently in the applications of nano-bio-photonics to cancer researc
Founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee University is home to approximately 3,000 students from the U.S. and 30 foreign countries. The academic programs are organized into seven colleges and schools: 1.) Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science, 2.) College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences, 3.) College of Arts and Sciences, 4.) College of Engineering, 5.) College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, 6.) Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science, and 7.) School of Education.
To learn more about Tuskegee University, go to: www.tuskegee.edu.