- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Henrietta Lacks

Born  1920-08-01
Died  1951-10-04

Related eponyms

    Afro-American woman, born August 1. 1920; died October 4, 1951.

    Biography of Henrietta Lacks

    Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with a malignant carcinoma of the cervix at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore in 1951. The story of this amazingly robust and fast-growing cell-type began when George Gey (1899-1979), head of tissue culture research at Hopkins, took a samle before applying the first treatment to the patient. The celles were cultured without the permission og her family which was  not even informed and learned about the world-wide use of her cells years later.

    HeLa cells played a vital role in the development of polio vaccine.


    Rebecca Skloot:
    Obsessed With Culture: George Gey and his quest to cure cancer, with the help of Henrietta Lacks.
    Pitt Magazine, March 2001.

    Rebecca Skloot:
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Random House, 2010.
    Named ”Book of the Year” by more than sixty American newspapers in 2010, 32 weeks on The New York Times list of bestsellers.

    What is an eponym?

    An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

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