Monday, October 17, 2011

Rebecca Skloot, the bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to speak at UIS

WHAT: Rebecca Skloot, the author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, is coming to the University of Illinois Springfield this fall.

WHEN: Wed., Nov. 9, 2011 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

DETAILS: In her bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), 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, currently being made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, is a The New York Times bestseller and is the winner of numerous awards. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was featured on over 60 critics’ best of the year lists and was chosen by Amazon as its book of the year for 2010.

Skloot’s Sangamon Auditorium presentation is FREE and open to the public. Tickets will be issued through the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office by calling 217/206-6160. A book signing will follow the lecture.

The appearance is sponsored by The Friends of Brookens Library, Memorial Medical Center, The Illinois Humanities Council, and the UIS Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series.

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

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