Henrietta Lacks
Henrietta Lacks. Oregon State University | "Henrietta Lacks" by Crawford Brian is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 | "Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951)" by David Hoffman '41 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Henrietta Lacks – Medical Research Contributor

Henrietta Lacks is one of the greatest contributors to modern medicine and yet she wasn’t a scientist, or a researcher.  Lacks was an African American woman who died of cervical cancer at the tender age of 31. Her cancer cells were harvested without her knowledge or consent and were able to reproduce at an amazing rate outside of her body. These cells became known as HeLa Cells using the first two letters of her first and last name.  Henrietta’s cell line has been used for AIDS and cancer research, the development of the polio vaccine, and so much more.

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