The HeLa cells were discovered in 1951 from Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta Lacks, a poor 30-year old mother, was diagnosed with Epidermiod carcinoma of the cervix stage 1. George Gey, a doctor who worked for Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, and also someone who was attempting to produce immortal human cells, took a sample of the tumor and later announced to a large television audience that they were “like no other cells. ” As the cells gained more recognition, Dr. Gey named them “HeLa” cells in honor of Mrs.
Lacks, who later died in October of 1951. HeLa cells became an important tool in medicine, but Henrietta remained unknown.
Twenty years after Mrs. Lacks’ death the family learned of the immortal cells when….