Armstrong Faculty Panel to Discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

(November 17, 2011) A faculty panel will provide a discussion of the issues surrounding the university's Common Read book at noon, November 21st in Armstrong's Student Union Ogeechee Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

Faculty members from the Colleges of Education, Liberal Arts, and Science and Technology will explore the fascinating intersections of science, ethics, medicine and human rights that are raised in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a nonfiction book by Rebecca Skloot. The book narrates the story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, who in 1950 was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Lacks died less than one year after her diagnosis, but not before doctors had removed a sample of her cancerous cervical tissue. The tissue was grown in labs all over the world, helping to discover new drugs—a fact unknown to Lacks' family for 37 years.

“The faculty panel discussion presents an opportunity for our students, faculty, staff and community members to learn about this extraordinary story and debate its implications for our society, “ said Anne Thompson, interim vice president for academic affairs, who will facilitate the discussion.