African American Inventors/Accomplishments
Terms in this set (191)
Inventor of folding chair
Archie A. Alexander
Civil Engineer, Construction Engineer; Among the numerous projects his firm completed are Washington, D.C.'s Tidal Basin Bridge and the K Street Freeway.
Microbiologist; First African-American department chair at Harvard Medical School
Wanda M. Austin
President and chief executive officer of The Aerospace Corporation, a leading architect for solutions to issues such as national security affecting the nation's space programs. She is internationally recognized for her work in satellite and payload system acquisition, systems engineering, and system simulation.
Physicist, Inventor; Invented a method of fabricating an imaging X-ray spectrometer
Invented "Damper" located inside the fireplace chimney
James J. Andrews
Mathematician; Put forth the Andrews-Curtis conjecture in group theory with Morton L. Curtis, still unsolved
Leonard C. Bailey
Inventor; Folding bed
Alice Augusta Ball
Chemist; Extracted chaulmoogra oil for the treatment of Hansen's disease (leprosy)
Mathematician, Astronomer, Surveyor, Clockmaker, Author, Farmer; Wooden clock (1753). Assisted in survey of the original boundaries of the District of Columbia (1791). Authored almanac and ephemeris (1792-1797)
Mary McLeod Bethune
A sociologist and a special adviser on minority affairs to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. During the years of the Great Depression she was the director of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. In 1904 she founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls, which later merged with a school for boys to become Bethune Cookman College. She served as president of the National Association of Colored Women and later, in 1935, was a founder of the National Council of Negro Women.
Mathematician; Works on diffeomorphisms and symplectomorphism. He is currently a Professor of Mathematics at Pennsylvania State University.
Inventor, Entrepreneur, Professional Consultant; First African-American woman to receive a patent for a web-based software invention. The invention, LinkLine, is an Equal Employment Opportunity case management and tracking software.
Ophthalmologist; First African-American female physician to receive a patent for a medical invention. Inventions relate tocataract surgery and include the Laserphaco Probe, which revolutionized the industry in the 1980s, and an ultrasound technique for treatment.
Farmer, Carpenter, Blacksmith, Railroad worker, Businessman, Inventor; Janney coupler improvments. Invented the car device #594,059 dated November 23, 1987. Rotary engine patent #478,271 dated July 5, 1892. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio for his work on railroad coupler design.
Inventor, Entrepreneur, Architect, Industrial Designer; Invented Chair With Sliding Skin (2004), and the Quantitative Display Apparatus (2005)
Inventor, Educator; Invented "Gong and Signal Chair for Hotels". Second African-American woman to receive a patent.
Gastroenterologist; Gastroscope pioneer
Albert T. Bharucha-Reid
Mathematician, Statistician; Probability theory and Markov chain theorist
Neurosurgeon; Brain tumor surgery and research
Mathematician, Statistician; First proposed the Blackwell channel model used in coding theory and information theory; one of theeponyms of the Rao-Blackwell theorem, which is a process that significantly improves crude statisticalestimators.
Lawrence D. Bobo
The W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University. He holds appointments in the Department of Sociology and the Department of African and African American Studies. His research focuses on the intersection of social inequality, politics, and race.
Inventor; Second black inventor to issue a patent. Patented the seed planter and cotton planter. Invented early spark plug.
Bioengineer; Silicon retina able to process images in the same manner as a living retina.
Inventor; Ironing board allowing sleeves of women's garments to be ironed more easily. Patented and improved the ironing board.
Physicist; First African-American to receive a Ph.D. in any subject. Received physics doctorate from Yale University in 1876.
Physician; Pathologist and geneticist; Professor Emeritus Pritzker School of Medicine; first tenured African-American professor at the University of Chicago Division of biological Sciences
Inventor, Engineer; Inventing and improved electric resistor that was used for a wide variety of electronic devices such as radios, computers, and televisions. Noteworthy inventions include a wire precision resistor and a control unit for the pacemaker. When he died in 1982, he had 26 patents in his name.
St. Elmo Brady
Chemist; Published three scholarly abstracts in Science and also collaborated on a paper published in Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry
Physicist, Educator; Protein structure research
Inventor; Street sweeper truck and a type of paper punch
Inventor; First U.S. patent for disposable syringe
Inventor; Invented fire safe
Inventor; Received a patent for an improved horseshoe
John Albert Burr
Inventor; Rotary-blade lawn mower patent
Randolph W. Bromery
A geologist, geophysicist, and educator, was Commonwealth Professor, Emeritus, of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a trustee of The Johns Hopkins University. He served as an exploration geophysicist with the U. S. Geological Survey and as president of Roxbury Community College, Boston, and Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts.
Marie Van Brittan Brown
Invented the home security system. The system had a set of 4 peep holes and a camera that could slide up and down to look at each one. Anything and everything the camera picked up would appear on a monitor. Also, a resident could unlatch the door by remote control. The system included a device that enabled a homeowner to use a television set to view the person at the door and hear the caller's voice.
Ralph J. Bunche
Political scientist and a founder of the United Nations (UN), was a key UN diplomat for more than two decades. The first African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Pediatrician; Sickle cell anemia studies. In October 1937, he published "Immunologic Studies in sickle Cell Anemia" in the Archives of Internal Medicine; many of the findings are still valid today.
The first African American female neurosurgeon. She was graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, cum laude, in 1975 and practiced at the Children's Hospital of Michigan for nearly twenty years.
Pediatric Neurosurgeon; Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. First surgeon to successfully separate carniopagus twins.
George W. Carver
Botanical researcher; Discovered hundreds of uses for previously useless vegetables and fruits, principally the peanut. He headed the Department of Agricultural Research at Tuskegee Institute. His experiments also led to the development of multiple uses for soybeans and other indigenous, but previously unutilized, crops.
Charles W. Chappelle
Electrician, construction, international businessman, and aviation pioneer; Designed long distance flight airplane. He was the only African-American to invent and display the airplane at the 1911 First Industrial Air Show held in conjunction with the Auto Show at Grand Central Palace in Manhattan in New York City. He was also the president of the African Union company, Inc.
Scientist and researcher; valuable contributions to several fields: medicine, biology, food science, and astrochemistry. He discovered that even one-celled plants such as algae, which are lightweight and can be transported easily, can convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. This discovery helped to create a safe food supply for astronauts.
An engineer and astrophysicist at the Naval Research Laboratory. He was the principal scientist responsible for the development of a special camera that made the trip to the moon aboard Apollo 16 in 1972. He was one of the first recipients of Black Engineer of the Year. He currently teaches a course on earth and space science at Howard University.
Psychologist; Conducted 1940s experiments using dolls to study children's attitudes about race.
Psychologist; First Black president of the American Psychological Association
Research Engineer; Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Received some 40 U.S. patents relating to HVAC systems.
Jewel Plummer Cobb
Has been the trustee professor since 1990 and, since 1991, director of the ACCESS Center at California State University in Los Angeles. Formerly president of California State University in Fullerton (1981-1990), she has done extensive cancer research, specializing in cell biology, and was a member of the National Science Board from 1974 to 1980.
W. Montague Cobb
Was a distinguished professor of anatomy best known for his research in physical anthropology, the growth and development of the African American, and aging in the adult skeleton. Through his research, he refuted the notion of innate physiological differences among racial groups. He also chronicled the history of African Americans in medicine and was a leader in the integration of hospitals in the United States.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler
The first African-American woman to become a physician in the United States.
Was an American physician. In 1867, she became the second African-American woman to become a doctor in the United States after Rebecca Crumpler's achievement three years earlier. She overcame racial and gender barriers to medical education by training in all-female institutions run by women who had been part of the first generation of female physicians graduating mid-century.
Biophysicist; Expert on jellyfish hydrodynamics and designer of a vertical-axis wind farm adapted from schooling fish.
Marie Maynard Daly
Chemist; First black American woman with a Ph.D. in chemistry.
Computer scientist; Led the team that developed the ISA bus, and led the design team responsible for creating the first one-gigahertz computer processor chip.
Medical researcher; Developed improved techniques for blood storage.
Paul Du Chaillu
Zoologist, Explorer, Anthropologist; Explorer who was the first modern European outsider to confirm the existence of gorillas, and later the Pygmy people of central Africa. Identified as white throughout life, but his mother was Reunionnaismulatto. Settled in America and considered it his country by adoption. The full aspects of his ancestry were not uncovered until 1979, and are still little known today.
Christine Voncile Mann Darden
Has been responsible for advocacy, planning, and management of the aeronautical work at NASA's Langley Research Center done under the auspices of externally-led programs. She served as director of NASA's Aero-Performing Center Program Management Office (APCPMO), worked with the Strategic Planning Office, and directed strategic communications and education before her retirement in 2007. During her career, she conducted extensive research for NASA in supersonic aircraft noise, especially in the area of sonic boom reduction.
Halie T. Debas
The executive director of UCSF Global Health Sciences, is recognized internationally for his contributions to academic medicine and is widely consulted on issues associated with global health. At the University of California, San Francisco, he served as dean of medicine, vice chancellor for medical affairs, and chancellor.
William E.B. DuBois
Social scientist, teacher, author, and political activist, was an avid advocate for civil rights for all people. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1895. A founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and for many years editor of The Crisis magazine, he is considered the first African American sociologist and is noted as a major interpreter of American history and culture.
Was vice provost of the University of Michigan and dean of the University of Michigan School of Nursing. She was the first woman, the first nurse, and the first African American to serve as deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health. She was also the first nurse to use the scientific method to study clinical nursing problems.
Computer scientist; Work at the Lewis Research Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its predecessor, the National Advisory committee for Aeronautics.
Clarence "Skip" Ellis
Computer scientist; First African American with a Ph.D. in computer Science Software inventor including Office Talk at Xerox PARC.
Automotive engineer; Drag racing engineer and driver
Marian Wright Edelman
Earned her law degree from Yale University and became the first African American woman to be admitted to the bar in Mississippi. As a leader with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, she helped coordinate the Poor People's Campaign after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and founded the Children's Defense Fund, which became a powerful and successful advocate for government programs such as Head Start to benefit underprivileged and neglected children, foster children, and children with disabilities.
Lloyd Noel Ferguson
Chemist, Educator; Chemistry doctorate, first received (1943, University of California, Berkeley)
Was a senior fellow in the School of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, holding the Fagin Family Chair in Cultural Diversity from 1993 to 1997. From 1980 to 1992 she was the assistant chief medical director for nursing programs in the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this position she was responsible for the largest organized nursing service in the world. She is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates and two fellowships, one in physics, the other in alcohol studies.
Ronald G. Fryer, Jr.
Economist, Social scientist, Statistician; Inequality studies
Henry W. Foster, Jr.
Is a professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology and a former dean at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee. In 1996, President Clinton appointed him Senior Advisor on Teen Pregnancy Reduction and Youth Issues, serving also as a consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Joseph S. Francisco
Is the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry at Purdue University. President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Francisco a member of the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science for the term 2010-2012. Tuskegee University awarded him an honorary degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, in 2010.
Sarah E. Goode
Inventor; Cabinet bed invention; First African-American woman to receive a patent in the United States.
Juan E. Gilbert
Computer Scientist; Awarded the first Presidential Endowed Chair at Clemson University n honor of his accomplishments
Joseph L. Graves
Evolutionary biologist; Is an American professor and the Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Biological Studies at the Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering which is jointly administered by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and UNC Greensboro. His past research has included an examination of the evolution of life history and physiological performance in Drosophila, a genus of small flies often called fruit flies. His current work includes the genomics of adaptation, as well as the response of bacteria to metallic/metallic oxide nanoparticles.
PhD; is an American nuclear engineer and senior manager at the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, DC, USA.
Bessie Blount Griffin
Physical therapist, worked with injured soldiers in WWII. Invented amputee self-feeding device
James Sylvester Gates, Jr.
Is the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland and director of its Center for String and Particle Theory. Known for his work on supersymmetry, supergravity, and superstring theory, he uses mathematical models to explore the elementary particles and fundamental forces of nature.
James Raphael Gavin III
A clinical professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is currently CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Healing Our Village, Inc. and serves as a director for Baxter International, Inc., Amylin, Inc., and Nuvelo, Inc.
Evelyn Boyd Granville
A graduate of Smith College and Yale University, where in 1949 she became the second black woman in the United States to receive a doctoral degree in mathematics. After several years with the National Bureau of Standards, She spent twelve years in private industry specializing in orbital computations, celestial mechanics, numerical analysis, and digital computer techniques in support of the Mercury Project (the first U.S. manned mission in space), and the Apollo Project.
A physicist and engineer, was an inventor with dozens of patents dealing with gas dispersion and conversion. He was also a star athlete who won a silver medal in the long jump in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
Chemist; Contributed to the science of food preservation. By the end of his career, he had amassed 59 United States patents, and a number of his inventions were also patented in other countries.
James A. Harris
Co-discovered Rutherfordium (element 104) and Hafnium (element 105) at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.
Walter Lincoln Hawkins
Scientist and inventor who, while working at Bell Laboratories in the 1940s, helped to make universal service possible.
John E. Hodge
Chemist; In his article "Chemistry of browning reactions in model systems." he studied the chemistry of non-enzymatic browning reactions in dehydrated foods, such as the Maillard reaction. The article included a reaction scheme which is known as the "Hodge Scheme" and is considered to be the Maillard reaction pathway over 50 years later
Research computer scientist at IBM; Co-creator of Service-Oriented Modeling and Architecture, SOMA and the Service Integration Maturity Model (SIMM)
Beatrix A. Hamburg
Is a visiting scholar in the Department of Psychiatry of the Cornell University College of Medicine. She has had a long career in academic medicine. She is a former president of the William T. Grant Foundation, which supports research on the development of children, adolescents, and youth, and has served on the faculties of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Stanford University School of Medicine. As a medical researcher, she is most noted for her studies of early adolescence, pioneering work on peer counseling, and studies of diabetic children and adolescents.
Bernard A. Harris, Jr.
Is a former astronaut who was the space shuttle payload commander on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program and the first African-American to walk in space.
Betty W. Harris
Her career spans more than four decades. For the first ten years, she was a college assistant professor of chemistry and mathematics. She then spent more than two decades at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where she worked in high explosives research and development (R&D) and environmental management and restoration. During a leave of absence from LANL, she was the chief of chemical technology for Solar Turbine Inc., where she managed the technical laboratories and investigated cold-end corrosion of super alloys, which was caused by sulfuric acid and soot in gas turbine engines.
Is associate provost and the Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts. His academic research is associated with unsteady aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, rarefied gas dynamics, sustainment of capital assets, and chaos in sickle cell disease. He has made seminal contributions in each of those research fields. He is credited with more than 100 technical papers and presentations.
W. Lincoln Hawkins
A pioneer in chemical engineering and the uses of plastics, was a leader in discovering the factors limiting the life of plastics and in developing life extending additives as a practical means for conservation of materials. His work at Bell Laboratories led to the invention of led to the invention of the synergistic system of chemical stabilization used throughout the world in the manufacture of plastic cable sheath.
Ruby Puryear Hearn
Graduated from Skidmore College and then attended Yale University, where she received an M.S. and Ph.D. in biophysics. Dr. Hearn spent most of her professional life on the staff of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest health care philanthropy in the United States, where she participated in strategic program planning and served as the Foundation's liaison within the non-profit community. She has had major responsibility for oversight and development of initiatives in maternal, infant, and child health; AIDS; substance abuse; and minority medical education.
John L. S. Holloman, Jr.
Was a physician, a medical administrator, and a civil rights activist. He served as a professor of public health and health administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and on the staff of the Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. Congress. In the 1960s, he served as an attending physician on many of the civil rights marches in the South, including the 1965 Selma march, for which he also planned and managed medical services.
Donald R. Hopkins
Directs all of the health programs of The Carter Center. He first joined the Center in 1987 as the senior consultant for the health programs, where he led the Center's efforts to eradicate Guinea worm disease and river blindness worldwide.
Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
Has served as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) since 1992. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance.
Neurobiologist; Duke University neuroscience bird song studies.
Invented and Patented the "dry cleaning process". First African - American to receive a patent.
Inventor; Held patent for improvements to the bicycle frame, specifically so it could be taken apart for compact storage.
Invented a "theft-preventing" device for vehicles.
Mechanical engineer, Nuclear engineer, Inventor; Invented Super Soaker while researching thermal energy transfer engines; worked with NASA. Holder of over 80 patents.
Inventor of the travel bag. Diaper bag with a built-in bottle warmer (battery powered & car adapter), storage cooler, garment bag conversion, back pack conversion and plastic storage pouch for soiled items. "Family helping family"was her foundation.
Patented and improved mechanical egg beaters, early mixing machine
Frederick McKinley Jones
Inventor; Invented refrigerated truck systems
chemist; First to synthesize the natural product physostigmine; earned 130 chemical patents; lauded for humanitarian achievements
Woods hole Marine biology, Institute Biologist; Provided basic and initial descriptions of the structure-function-property relationship of the plasma membrane of biological cells.
Shirley A. Jackson
The 18th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the oldest technological research university in the United States, where she has led an extraordinary transformation since 1999. Described by Time Magazine as "perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science," she has held senior leadership positions in academia, government, industry, and research.
Anthony A. James
Is Distinguished Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics (School of Medicine) and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry (School of Biological Sciences) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He is working on vector-parasite interactions, mosquito molecular biology, and other problems in insect developmental biology. His research emphasizes the use of genetic and molecular-genetic tools to develop synthetic approaches to interrupting pathogen transmission by mosquitoes. His research group was the first to develop routine transgenesis procedures for mosquitoes, and they have been able to engineer single-chain antibodies that interfere with malaria parasite development in mosquitoes.
Mae C. Jemison
Blasted into orbit aboard the shuttle Endeavour, September 12, 1992, as the first woman of color to go into space. The flight was just one of a series of accomplishments for this dynamic woman, who is founder and president of two technology companies.
Howard S. Jones, Jr.
Retired engineer and scientist, was chief of the microwave research branch at Harry Diamond Laboratories, U. S. Department of the Army. He designed and developed state-of-the-art microwave antennas, electronic components, and devices (waveguide, coaxial, and stripline) for use in communication systems. . He also served as an advisor to electronic and radar systems designers on matters relating to antennas and microwave system hardware.
Percy L. Julian
Was a research chemist whose trail-blazing work in uses for soybeans resulted in the development of a multiplicity of new products, the most important of which are low cost drugs and hormones. He devised an inexpensive form of cortisone, used in the treatment of arthritis, from soybean sterols. His research led to the manufacture in quantity of the hormones testosterone and progesterone. Among his many "firsts" in the field of steroids was his synthesis of the drug physostigmine, used to treat glaucoma.
Created several popular ice cream flavors
Geneticist; Work in tracing the ancestry of African Americans via DNA testing
Samuel L. Kountz
Transplant surgeon, Researcher; Organ transplantation pioneer, particularly renal transplant research and surgery. Author or co-author of 172 articles in scientific publications.
Inventor, Draftsman, Expert witness; Worked as a draftsman for both Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. He became a member of Edison's Pioneers and served as a n expert witness in many light bulb ligation lawsuits. Invention of the Water closet is also said to be invented by him. Also invented the electric lamp.
Computer engineer; Designer of Fairchild Channel F, the first programmable ROM cartridge-based video game console
Raphael Carl Lee
Surgeon, Biomedical engineer; Paul and Aileen Russell Professor, Pritzker School of Medicine; MacArthur Fellow, Searle Scholar, Founder and Chairman, Avocet Polymer Technologies, Inc.; Founder and Chairman, Renacyte BioMolecular Technologies, Inc; Discovered use of surfactant copolymers as molecular chaperones to augment endogenous injury repair mechanisms of living cells. Holder of many patents covering scar treatment therapies, tissue engineered ligaments, brain trauma therapies, protective garments.
Designed a van to transport elderly, designed car seats, panels for doors and headliners for an auto supplier. Luxury car designer.
Beebe Steven Lynk
Chemist; Teacher at West Tennessee University
President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a national leader in transforming America's health systems so people live healthier lives and receive the health care they need. She was a leader in academic medicine, government service, and her medical specialty of geriatrics.
Cato T. Laurencin
M.D., Ph.D., is chief executive officer of the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering, and the Van Dusen Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center. A nationally-prominent orthopaedic surgeon, biomedical engineer, and administrator, he is also a University Professor, Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, and a professor of chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Laurencin's research involves tissue engineering, biomaterials science, nanotechnology, and stem cell science.
LaSalle D. Leffall Jr.
A noted surgeon and oncologist, is the Charles R. Drew professor and former chairman of the Department of Surgery at Howard University, where he has been on the faculty since 1962. He focused attention on the increasing incidence and mortality of cancer among black Americans, creating an innovative program to address cancer disparities among ethnic populations. He was also the first African American president of other national organizations, including the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Society of Surgical Chairmen, and the American College of Surgeons.
Nurse; First African American to study and work as a professionally trained nurse in the United States
Improved the fire extinguisher and was granted a patent for it.
Inventor; Shoe assembly Machine
Chemist; His discoveries allowed chemists around the world to create inexpensive peroxide compounds.
Inventor; Invented a version of the automatic lubricator for steam engines, He learned a great deal of his skills from a mechanical apprenticeship when he was age fifteen.
Roboticist; He is an engineering assistant professor at Rice University specializing in swarm robotics. He appeared on Nova on PBS.
Linguist; Specializes in the study of creole language formation
Inventor; Designed a steam operated propeller to provide propulsion to boats in shallow water
Willie Hobbs Moore
Physicist; Was the first African American woman to earn Ph.D. in Physics (University of Michigan Ann Arbor 1972) on vibrational analysis of secondary chlorides.
Inventor; Invented the first gas mask and the first traffic signal
Inventor; Is a Ghanaian chemical engineer and inventor. His works are in fields relating to the developments in Fiber Optics and Nanotechnology. He was awarded 7 USA and worldwide patents in Fiber Optics within a period of six years.
Physician/Biostatistician; Advances in Path Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling
Shirley M. Malcom
Is head of the Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She received a bachelor's degree with distinction in zoology from the University of Washington; a master's degree in zoology from the University of California, Los Angeles; and a doctorate in ecology from Pennsylvania State University.
Floyd J. Malveaux
M.D., Ph.D., is executive director of the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN). He is a nationally recognized expert on asthma and allergic diseases and is emeritus dean of the College of Medicine and professor of microbiology and medicine at Howard University. He led Howard's participation in several multi-million dollar initiatives to identify and address risk factors that contribute to increased deaths from asthma among inner-city children and to reduce and prevent asthma among at-risk populations. In addition, he has worked extensively to address health disparities and improve the quality of health care and health outcomes, especially among low-income, urban, and underserved populations.
Audrey Forbes Manley
Retired as Spelman College's first alumna president after a long career in private and public service. In 1976, she joined the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and was later appointed as the first African American woman principle deputy assistant secretary for health with oversight of eight agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration. While at USPHS, she also directed the sickle cell anemia and other genetic disease programs. She went on to serve as deputy U.S. surgeon general and later as acting U.S. surgeon general before becoming president of Spelman College
Cora Bagley Marrett
Is deputy director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Samuel P. Massie
Was the first African American professor of chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he served on the faculty from 1966 to 1994, and the first to head its chemistry department. As widely recognized for his efforts to encourage young people in the sciences as for his scientific achievement, he received the Dreyfuss Award from the American Chemical Society in March 1996 for his work in developing future careers in chemistry. His research contributed to drugs to combat malaria, cancer, and other diseases, and his 1954 Chemical Reviews article, "The Chemistry of Phenothiazine," is considered a classic in the field
Patented the Electric Elevator
Geochemist; Studies toxic metals in the environment. Originator of the lead poisoning thesis of the decline of the Roman Empire.
Samuel M. Nabrit
Was a biologist with a long and distinguished career in science education. He was a founding member of the Institute of Medicine.
Anthropologist; Ethnic studies in education and economics
Computer scientist; Early advocate and researcher of multi-core processors
Chemical engineer; Inventions in oil refining
Ph.D., Sc.D., L.H.D., was appointed director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program in June 1991, the first African American ever to head an institute of the National Institutes of Health. He is a highly regarded cancer researcher whose 37-year career has included appointments at Harvard University Medical School in Boston, MA, and the NCI in Bethesda, MD. He has published more than 170 articles and book chapters dealing with cancer biology and environmental health research and policy, including two of the 100 most-cited papers in the life sciences for 1978-79.
Bacteriologist, Epidemiologist; Work on the epidemiology of tropical diseases including malaria
Physicist; Work on the mathematical physics of gravitational lensing
Willie Pearson Jr.
Is a professor of sociology at the School of History, Technology, and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology. Most of his research has centered on the career patterns of Ph.D. scientists, particularly African Americans, and on human resource issues in science and engineering. His publications include numerous articles in refereed journals and chapters.
Arlie Oswald Petters
Is the Benjamin Powell Professor and Professor of Mathematics, Physics, and Business Administration at Duke University. He is a multi-dimensional theoretician who was the first to develop the mathematical theory of gravitational lensing, which brought powerful methods from pure mathematics to bear on astronomy. He also pioneered new applications of gravitational lensing in physics, predicting effects that probe the nature of spacetime around black holes and developing tests of gravitational theories such as Einstein's general relativity and hyperspace gravity models.
Vivian W. Pinn
Is the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an appointment she has held since 1991. She came to the NIH from Howard University College of Medicine, where she had been professor and chair of the Department of Pathology since 1982.
W. B. Purvis
Invention of the fountain pen
Lloyd Albert Quarterman
Scientist, Fluoride Chemist; Manhattan Project, worked with Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi
Orthodontist; Was a history-maker in the field of orthodontics and in breaking down the barriers of racism.
Engineer, Inventor; Inventor of the multiple-effect evaporator
Environmental chemist; Investigated possible role of arsenic in the death of Zachary Taylor. Interim president of Florida A&M University
Engineer, inventor; Wireless communications engineer
E. Albert Reece
Is the vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland; the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor; and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is also professor in the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medicine, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, Dr. Reece completed a bachelor of science degree with honors (magna cum laude) from Long Island University. He then earned an M.D. degree from New York University School of Medicine; a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica; His research focuses on diabetes in pregnancy and birth defects. He directs an NIH multi-million-dollar research laboratory group studying the bio-molecular mechanisms of diabetes-induced birth defects, where he has made a number of discoveries, thus constituting the dominant understanding in the patho-mechanisms. He is a sought-after visiting professor and lecturer at numerous institutions, both nationally and internationally.
Invnetor; Patent for hot comb
Economist, Social scientist; Economist, social theorist and political philosopher. He writes from a conservative and classical liberal perspective, advocating free market economics, and has written more than thirty books. He is a National Humanities Medal recipient.
Psychologist, Social scientist; Stereotype threat studies
Mathematician; President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics from 2000 to 2002
Computer engineer; Security engineer at Microsoft, Mozilla, and Apple
Is director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Moorehouse School of Medicine. He served as the sixteenth surgeon general of the United States from 1998 to 2002, and as assistant secretary for health from 1998 to January 2001, the second person in history to serve in both capacities simultaneously. During his tenure, he released major reports on overweight and obesity, mental health, suicide prevention, oral health, smoking, and youth violence. He also championed efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health.
Herbert C. Scurlock
Was a biochemist who pioneered the application of radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer and the use of x-ray to diagnose dental problems. He was a professor of physiological chemistry at Howard University, where he served on the medical faculty for forty years.
John Brooks Slaughter
A computer scientist, is president and CEO of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). Is best known for his work on the development of computer algorithms for system optimization and discrete signal processing, with emphasis on application to ocean and environmental system problems.
Mitchell W. Spellman
Is director of International Exchange Programs at Harvard Medical International and dean (emeritus) for International Projects, dean (emeritus) for Medical Services, and professor of surgery (emeritus) at Harvard Medical School.
Louis W. Sullivan
Is a medical researcher, educator, and adviser to the federal government. He was founding dean and director of the medical education program at Morehouse College and the first dean and president of the Morehouse School of Medicine, where he served for more than twenty years. He has served as director of hematology, the field of his major research work, at Boston University Medical Center. He founded the Boston University Hematology Service at Boston City Hospital and was project director of the Boston Sickle Cell Center.
African American inventor who improved the refrigerator in 1891 and the oil stove in 1889
Inventor, Blacksmith, Abolitionist; Inventor of the toggling whaling harpoon head.
Surgical technician; Developed an operation that would deliever more oxygen to the blood -blue baby syndrome treatment in the 1940s.
Charles Henry Turner
Zoologist; First person to prove that insects can hear and can distinguish pitch, that cockroaches can learn by trial and error, and that honeybees can see color. First African-American to receive a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
Biochemist; program Director at National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Astronomer; Researcher and popular educator in astronomy and the sciences
Invented illusion transmitter- showed 3D projections as though they are real
Is the Lambert and Sonneborn Professor of Medicine Emeritus and senior associate dean emeritus at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Is the co-founder and past president of the New York Society of Nephrology, the Society of Urban Physicians, and the Association of Academic Minority Physicians. He is presently chairman of the Board of the Institute on Professionalism in Medicine at Columbia and a member of the Board of the Physicians for Human Rights in Boston.
Reed V. Tuckson
Is executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at United Health Group, where he is responsible for improving the quality and efficiency of health services. He is an active member of the Institute of Medicine and has held a number of federal appointments, including cabinet-level advisory committees on health reform, infant mortality, children's health, violence, and radiation testing.
Arthur B.C. Walker, Jr.
Astronomer; Developed normal incidence multilayer XUV telescopes to photograph the solar corona
Inventor; Created black cosmetic products. Also the first female African American millionaire
Warren M. Washington
Atmospheric scientist; Former chair of the National Science Board. A meteorologist, he specializes in computer modeling of the earth's climate, using such models to simulate future climate change.
James E. West
Acoustician, Inventor; Co-developed the foil electret microphone
J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr.
Mathematician, Engineer, Nuclear scientist; Entered University of Chicago at age 13, PhD at 19, worked on Manhattan Project, wrote over 100 scientific papers, helped recruit minorities into the sciences.
Surgeon; Performed the first successful open-heart surgery in the United States
Scott W. Williams.
Mathematician; Is a Professor of Mathematics at the University at Buffalo, SUNY.
Walter E. Williams
Economist, Social scientist; An American economist, commentator, and academic. He is the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University, as well as a syndicated columnist and author known for his libertarian views.
Inventor; Invented the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph. Developed a system for overhead electric conducting lines
Jane C. Wright
Cancer Research and Surgeon; Noted for her contributions to chemotherapy and for pioneering the use of the drug methotrexate to treat breast cancer and skin cancer
Louis T. Wright
Surgeon; Led team that first used Aureomycn as a treatment on humans
Jack E. White
Was director of the Howard University Cancer Research Center and chairman of the Department of Oncology at Howard University's College of Medicine, made outstanding contributions to cancer research.
Donald E. Wilson
He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and is a co-founder of the Association for Academic Minority Physicians, established in 1986. He is also a Master of the American College of Physicians, an honor bestowed on less than one percent of its members. Served as dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine from September 1991 until his retirement in September 2006
William Julius Wilson
One of America's leading sociologists and a prolific author, is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Carter G. Woodson
Known as the Father of Negro History, set for himself the goal of providing a scientific and historical account of people of African ancestry. Born to former slaves, he educated himself as a youth and went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1912.
Roger Arliner Young
Zoologist; First African-American woman to receive a doctorate degree in zoology
M. Wharton Young
Was a neuroanatomist whose primary research was in the fields of baldness and deafness and who also did research on the anatomical basis of glaucoma. A Fulbright scholar, professor, and visiting lecturer, he served as chairman of the Ninth International Congress of Anatomists in Leningrad, Russia, in 1970.
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