As we celebrate Henrietta Lacks’ 100th birthday, this web seminar presentation will highlight the contributions of HeLa cells to science and medicine, as well as NIH’s unique agreement with the Lacks’ family related to access to HeLa genomic data. Since Ms. Lacks’ untimely death in 1952, HeLa cells have been a vital tool in biomedical research, leading to an increased understanding of the fundamentals of human health and disease.

During the presentation, participants will be introduced to the extraordinary ways HeLa cells have impacted science, including contributions to multiple Nobel Prizes, and critical discoveries related to COVID-19 vaccine development. NIH is continuing to explore ways to honor the legacy of Henrietta Lacks and the lessons learned about building public trust for research in communities of color, including rethinking how we ensure consent for use of medical specimens in research.




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