The First Black Woman to Earn a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University

Carcia Carson recently became the first Black woman to receive a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I am honored to become the first to accomplish this feat. I look forward to diversifying my industry and continuing the discussion of representation in high-level research environments,” Dr. Carson said.

A native of Terry, Mississippi, Dr. Carson obtained a bachelor’s degree in physics at Jackson State University. Shortly after, she transitioned to Fisk University in Nashville to participate in their Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program, where she obtained her master’s degree in physics.

Dr. Carson intends to devote her professional career to developing translational research in cancer vaccines and personalized immunotherapy. “Translational research is more likely to impact the treatment of cancer patients directly. That’s what I want to do,” Dr. Carson said. “I want to have a direct hand in the treatment of cancer patients. I want to directly impact cancer patients with the hopes to improve the lives of people living with cancer.”

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