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Alma Levant Hayden (1927–1967)

Alma Levant Hayden was an American chemist, and one of the first African-American women to gain a scientist position at a science agency in Washington, D.C. She joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the 1950s.

Hayden came to national attention in 1963 when she led the team that exposed the common substance in Krebiozen, a long-controversial alternative and expensive drug promoted as anti-cancer.

Hayden joined the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases at the National Institute of Health. In the mid-1950s Hayden moved to the FDA, where she may have been the first person of color to work at the Agency. In 1963, Hayden became Chief of the Spectrophotometer Research Branch in the Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

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Alma Levant Hayden
Photo by Hilda Bastian