Exploring Ethics and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Center for Ethics in Science and Technology has organized nine presentations that focus on the 2010 book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. The book chronicles the discovery of the first “immortal” human cell line to be grown successfully outside the body. These cells were isolated from a cervical cancer tumor removed from Henrietta Lacks in 1951. Today thousands of labs worldwide continue to use HeLa (Henrietta Lacks) cells in their research. But neither Lacks nor her family gave permission for her tissues to be used in research. The Ethics Center has asked Laura Rivard, an adjunct professor of biology at the University of San Diego, to give the first presentation, which is free and open to the public. Online registration is here.