This year we celebrate the accomplishments of Black women history makers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). These bright ladies, among many others, are pioneers in STEM and have paved the way for many individuals in these fields. The inspiring selection of profiles highlight their accomplishments and journeys. We hope you enjoy the series of profiles over the course of Black History Month 2017. Follow the NIH Black History Month campaign on Instagram and Twitter.
Dr. Mae C. Jemison, M.D.
Mae Jemison was born in Alabama and raised in Chicago. The history-maker attended Stanford University where she earned a degree in chemical engineering and went on to earn a medical degree from Cornell University. Dr. Jemison applied to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for its astronaut training program in 1987. In 1992, with the Endeavour mission, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to ever go to space. Read More.
Dr. Marie M. Daly, Ph.D.
Marie Daly was born in 1921 to a family who was dedicated to her education. Daly studied at Queens College and New York University before becoming the first African-American to earn a doctorate degree in chemistry (from Columbia University). Dr. Daly spent many years as faculty at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. As a faculty member and researcher, she championed the need to support students of color interested in pursuing physics and chemistry at Queens College by establishing a scholarship fund in memory of her father. Read More.
Dr. Alexa Canady, M.D
Dr. Alexa Canady grew up in Michigan. Her father was a dentist and her mother an educator. She earned a degree in zoology and attended medical school at the University of Michigan. In 1980, she became the first African-American neurosurgeon. Dr. Canady dedicated her career to pediatric patients in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan. In 1987, she became Chief of Neurosurgery at the Michigan’s Children Hospital; she served in that role until she retired in 2001. Read More.
Dr. Jeanette J. Epps, Ph.D.
Jeanette Epps is set to make history as the first Black crew member of an International Space Station (ISS) expedition. She will launch her first spaceflight in May 2018 and join veteran astronaut Andrew Feustel as a flight engineer on Expedition 56 aboard the ISS. Epps earned a bachelor's degree in physics from LeMoyne College in New York and a master's of science and doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. Read More.
Dr. Roger Arliner Young, Ph.D.
Dr. Roger Arliner Young was the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in zoology. In 1916, Young enrolled at Howard University to study music. She took her first science course in 1921 under Ernest Everett Just, a prominent Black biologist and head of the zoology department at Howard. After graduating, Young entered Chicago University to pursue her master's degree, she was asked to join Sigma Xi, a scientific research society. In 1924 her first article, "On the Excretory Apparatus in Paramecium," was published in the journal Science, making her the first African-American woman to research and professionally publish in this field. Read More.