Great job lady!
Every day this month I will be highlighting a Black woman in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics)- past or present.
Today, I am highlighting Alma Levant Hayden. She was one of the first African-American women to work in government laboratories. Hayden graduated with honors in 1947 from South Carolina State College and her passion for chemistry led her to pursue a Masters degree in chemistry. She went on to work for the NIH as well as the FDA. She published numerous papers on spectroscopic techniques for analyzing chemicals. In 1963, she was appointed Chief of the Spectrophotometer Research Branch in the Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the FDA. She is best known for a study she completed while at the FDA in 1963. She was asked to analyze a compound, Krebiozen, thought at the time to be a “cancer cure”. Hayden studied the chemical composition using infrared spectrometry and determined that this compound marketed as a miracle drug was already present in the human body and not at all capable of curing cancer. This actually ANGERED cancer patients who were, at the time, taking Krebiozen and believed it to be curing them! Hayden died only 4 years later at the age of 40, but her intelligence, grace, boldness, tenacity, and passion for the truth will forever live on.