Past Event

Henrietta Lacks: Health Care in the United States with Rebecca Skloot

Join the University of Illinois at Springfield for a discussion, Q & A, and book signing with author Rebecca Skloot.  Skloot will be discussing her book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

This event is free and open to the public.  Reservations are required, please contact the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at (217) 206-6160 to reserve your tickets.

This event is part of the program “Henrietta Lacks and Health Care in the United States: Issues of Race, Class and Ethics.” This program is made possible through a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council.  Other sponsors include: The Friends of Brookens Library, Memorial Medical Center, and Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE).

More about the book…
In this bestselling book (2010), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Skloot tells the story of a young black woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951 and left behind an inexplicably immortal line of cells known as HeLa. Skloot spent more than ten years researching Henrietta Lacks, whose cells harvested without her knowledge or consent, contributed to scientific advancements as varied as the polio vaccine, treatments for cancers and viruses, in-vitro fertilization, and the impact of space travel on human cells.

Part detective story, part scientific odyssey, and part family saga, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks raises fascinating questions about race, class, and bioethics in America.

The book is being made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball. It is a The New York Times Bestseller, and is featured on over 60 critics best of the year lists. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the  winner of numerous awards including: The 2010 Chicago Tribune Heartland, Prize for Nonfiction, The 2010 Wellcome Trust Book Prize, The American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Award for Excellence in Science Writing, and The 2011 Audie Award for Best Non-Fiction Audiobook.

More about the author…
Rebecca Skloot is an award winning science writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many other publications. She specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, race and medicine, food politics, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan. She has worked as a correspondent for WNYC’s Radiolab and PBS’s Nova ScienceNOW. She and her father, Floyd Skloot, are co-editors of The Best American Science Writing 2011. Visit Skloot‘s website for more information.

For more information, please contact Janelle Gurnsey, UIS Brookens Library at (217) 206-8451 or email