By Kayla Evans
For the Opelika Observer
Dr. Monica Frazier, a biology professor at Columbus State University, was named to the 2020 list of “1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists” by the Community of Scholars. Beginning January 2021, she is also the interim chair of the Biology Department at Columbus State.
“I’m happy to be an ambassador for other children who maybe never thought of themselves as a scientist or who never realized that such a thing was even possible,” Frazier said.
Originally from Opelika, Frazier went to Alabama State University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. She was a lab technician at Auburn University before graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Ph.D. in virology. She then completed her postdoctoral work at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
Working at Columbus State University since 2006 as an associate professor, she is now a biology professor. Frazier is also the Director of the Southwest Georgia Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP). The organization’s goal is to increase the number of qualified minorities to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in STEM.
“We have five institutions across the state of Georgia that are a part of the alliance,” Frazier said. “I’m the director of the alliance, so I oversee those particular programs at those institutions. It’s Valdosta State University, Georgia Southwestern State University, Columbus State University, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Columbus Technical College.”
Her research originally began with the studies of dibenzoylmethane (DBM) and prostate cancer, and now she focuses on identifying chemotherapeutic agents against cancer.
“The fact that I could actually help encourage other students like me to get into this field is amazing,” Frazier said. “It is nice to be recognized for it.”