Author to Discuss Story of an Unwitting Medical Hero
Author Rebecca Skloot will visit The University of Texas at Dallas on Wednesday, March 2, to discuss her best-selling book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
The lecture, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the UT Dallas Conference Center, is being offered by the University’s Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology in partnership with Arts & Letters Live, the Dallas Museum of Art’s literary and performing arts series.
Skloot’s nonfiction book tells the story of tobacco farmer Lacks, a poor Baltimore mother of five who died of cervical cancer in 1951 at age 31. Doctors at Johns Hopkins removed cancerous cells from her body – without her family’s knowledge – that wound up leading to significant breakthroughs in medical research, ranging from helping in the development of the cure for polio to AIDS-related treatments.
The book blends the story of the groundbreaking science enabled by Lack’s unusually resilient cells with the devastation that her death and the medical research process had on her family.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which took more than a decade to research and write, instantly became a New York Times best-seller. Writer and director Alan Ball has teamed with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films to produce an HBO program based on the book.
Skloot is a science writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and other publications. She is also a contributing editor at Popular Sciencemagazine and has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s RadioLab and PBS’ Nova ScienceNOW.