Smithsonian museum to install Henrietta Lacks portrait
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
Lacks died of cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins University, where researchers discovered her cells reproduced indefinitely in test tubes.
HeLa cells have since contributed to the treatment of thousands of patients and many scientific breakthroughs, from the polio vaccine to genetic technology, even as her family struggled without health care.
Lacks remained virtually unknown until a journalist spent years investigating and writing a bestseller, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”