KnowledgeWisdomExcellenceService

  • MSM News

  • Skip Navigation LinksAdministration > Marketing & Communications > MSM News
  • News Archive

    2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008


    Back to MSM News »

    Morehouse School of Medicine Honors Memory of Henrietta Lacks

    Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) today announced that it has purchased a headstone for the grave of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman who died at the age of 31 from cervical cancer and who was the source of HeLa cells, the first breakthrough in growing human cells outside the body.

    For Immediate Release
    Media Contact: Cherie Richardson / 404-752-1917 / crichardson@msm.edu

    Update: Click here to view the Fox 5 segment, aired on March 26, 2010, about Morehouse School of Medicine honoring Henrietta Lacks. Click here to read Creative Loafing's Q&A of Rebecca Skloot's interview about her new book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

    Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) today announced that it has purchased a headstone for the grave of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman who died at the age of 31 from cervical cancer and who was the source of HeLa cells, the first breakthrough in growing human cells outside the body. These cells are now used in labs around the world and have been vital in countless medical and scientific breakthroughs over the decades including the development of the Polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, cloning and stem cell research to name only a few. Henrietta Lacks' contribution to humankind through these cells is immeasurable and it continues every day.

    MSM Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Dr. Roland Pattillo and his wife, Patricia, donated the funds to the school to pay for the headstone.

    "Medicine failed Henrietta Lacks - Henrietta Lacks never failed medicine," said Pattillo. "HeLa moves forward."

    In 1996, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) held its first HeLa Conference to honor Henrietta Lacks, which was organized by Pattillo and MSM's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. On September 24, 2010, the 15th Annual HeLa Women's Conference will take place at MSM and will focus on "Determinants and Consequences of Obesity in Reproductive Medicine and Cancer." Noted experts and leading scientists will address this conference including Dr. David Satcher, director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and Center of Excellence on Health Disparities, Pouissant-Satcher-Cosby Chair of Mental Health at MSM and the 16th Surgeon General of the United States. Satcher will serve as the keynote luncheon speaker.


    Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), located in Atlanta, Georgia, recruits and trains minority and other students as physicians, biomedical scientists and public health professionals committed to improving the health and well-being of communities. MSM is a member of the largest consortium of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the world - the Atlanta University Center (AUC). For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, visit us online at www.msm.edu