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RCPath Book Club

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 21st June 2021

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer, terminally ill with cervical cancer, whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown.

Rebecca Skloot’s fascinating account is the story of the life, and afterlife, of one woman who changed the medical world forever. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is an extraordinary journey in search of the soul and story of a real woman, whose cells live on today in all four corners of the world

About this event
Henrietta's grandchildren, Jeri and David Lacks, will be joining host Professor Sarah Coupland and an expert panel in our fourth RCPath Book Club, in support of Cervical Screening Awareness Week. We'll be discussing the life and contributions of Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cells that have led to so many scientific advancements, as well the issues surrounding ethics, consent, scientific racism and inequalities.

This RCPath event will take place via Zoom webinar and will be recorded. A video will be available on the RCPath YouTube channel after the event. You don't need to have read the book to join in with this event.