This panel discussion will offer an examination of the dark history behind one of the most important tools in modern medicine: the cells that once belonged to Henrietta Lacks, otherwise known as HeLa cells. These cells were cultured without her knowledge to create the first known human immortal cell line for medical research.
The discussion will be moderated by Elliott Stern, Dean of Natural Science and Mathematics at Edmonds CC and includes Communication Studies instructor Jasmine Torres-Germack and Paralegal instructor Scott Haddock. The discussion is in advance of the Edmonds CC Community Read event April 23 featuring the bestselling book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”
Here is the description of the book from Amazon: “Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer 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, and more. Henrietta’s cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can’t afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.”