Dolores C. Shockley, PhD, born in Mississippi in 1930 and grew up in a segregated society. Motivated by the lack of a drug store to serve the black community in Clarksdale, Shockley decided to pursue a degree in pharmacology with the initial idea of starting a pharmacy in her hometown.
During her training, Dr. Shockley encountered both social and academic challenges. Although she had several racist professors, her determination led her down the road to success, but it wasn’t always an easy path. She was committed to finish her education and she graduated number one in her class.
In 1955, Dolores Shockley became the first African American woman to earn a doctorate from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Purdue University. She was also the first African American woman to receive a doctorate in pharmacology in the United States and the first African American woman to chair a pharmacology department in the United States, in 1988.
Her career involved research, teaching and involvement in many organizations. She worked tirelessly to help others for more than 50 years. She loved to see her students succeed. After her retirement, she continued to serve on many national committees including NIH, NSF, NRC and FDA. She held offices in the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET).
Dr. Shockley passed away on October 10, 2020 in Nashville.