North Central Michigan College Hosts Henrietta Lacks Traveling Exhibit

North Central Michigan College held a traveling exhibit dedicated to Henrietta Lacks in their in the on-campus library Tuesday.

In 1951, Lacks went to the hospital with abdominal pain. That’s when doctors discovered a tumor in her stomach.

Harvesting cells was a common practice at the time, but Lacks’ cells were the first to survive and multiply, meaning she had the first immortal line of cells.

Lacks’ cell line has contributed to many scientific advances during the past 70 years, ranging from vaccine development to treatments for cancer.

The exhibit at NCMC held some of Lacks’ personal items and numerous artist interpretations.

“We’re just excited to be here and to share, educate people, taking a little bit further in the knowledge about Henrietta Lacks or just those who are learning about her for the first time,” said Jermaine Jackson, the grand-nephew of Henrietta Lacks.

One of the most recent medical developments with the use of Henrietta Lacks’ cell line was the COVID-19 vaccine.