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    17th Annual Hela Conference

    Roland Pattillo, M.D., Professor in Morehouse School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will serve as Director of the 2012 HeLa scientific conference.  Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., Dean and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine, will provide a welcome and conference overview. 


    The 2012 HeLa Conference will advance attendees current scientific knowledge about regeneration of cells from vital organs.  Physicians specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, medical residents, medical students,perinatal healthcare delivery personnel, reproductive and environmental health specialists, social scientists, health policy officials, and community reproductive health activists, among other practitioners, will participate.  Continuing Medical Education credits will be offered.


    The HeLa Conference honors the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, the African American woman who died at age 31 from cervical cancer. Mrs. Lacks was the source of HeLa cells, the first breakthrough in growing human cells outside the body.


    MSM’s first HeLa Conference, titled “Cancer Control,” was held in Atlanta, GA on October11, 1996 with U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders providing the keynote address.  The Honorable Bill Campbell, Mayorof Atlanta, proclaimed the day “Henrietta Lacks Day” in Atlanta.


    In 2010, author Rebecca Skloot published The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  Her book remains #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List as of June 3, 2012.  The book has been sold worldwide and translated widely, most recently into Chinese. 


    In recognition of his leadership in HeLa Stem Cell Development, Dr. Pattillo received the NIH Pioneer Award on May 3, 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland, at the NIH Headquarters.  Dr. Yvonne Maddox, PhD, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Child Health Human Development (NIHCD) and a previous Pioneer Award recipient, presented the award to Dr. Pattillo.


    Dr. Pattillo’s scientific documentation of Stem Cells in Literature for HeLa Stem Cell Development includes, with Dr. Gey et. al:

    ·Establishment of a cell line of human hormone synthesizing Trophoblastic Cells in vitro (Cancer research 28:1231 – 1236, July1968).


    ·Identification in vitro of the TrophoblasticStem Cell of the Human Villous Placenta

    (Am. Journal OBGYN100: 582-588, February 1968).


    ·First Stem Cell Hormone Marker: Human HormoneProduction

    (InVitro Science 159: 1497 – 1469, March 1968).


    For more information about the 17th Annual HeLa Conference, visit