In honor of Black History Month, Augusta University has partnered with Paine College and the Columbia County Library to host several events to celebrate the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cancer cells became one of the most important tools in modern medicine.
Lacks, a poor tobacco farmer, changed medical research in 1951 when cells from her cervical cancer biopsy were taken without her knowledge and reproduced. These cells, known as HeLa cells, were vital in medical breakthroughs such as the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and In Vitro Fertilization.
The two-day celebration will kick off at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the Columbia County Library with a book signing and discussion with Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, members of the Lacks family.
On, Feb. 8, Paine College will host a meet and greet with the Lacks Family in the college’s Candler Library at 11 a.m., and a book signing as well as a panel discussion with the Skloot and Lacks family will be held at 7 p.m. in Augusta University’s Lee Auditorium on the Health Sciences campus. Register for the 7 p.m. event here.
As part of the celebration, Augusta University will show the highly-acclaimed film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on Jan. 17 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Maxwell Theatre on the Summerville campus. The Columbia County Library will show the film on Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m.
For more information about these events, email Jim Minick or call him at 706-737-1500.