HENRIETTA LACKS HONORED BY VIRGINIA’S LEGISLATURE
Henrietta Lacks was honored today from the floors of the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate. At the same time, Members of the Henrietta Lacks Family, and Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group were recognized by Senator William Stanley (Virginia Senatorial District 20), and Delegate James Edmunds (Virginia House District 60), as part of efforts to bring to fruition the Henrietta Lacks Commission and Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center (LSC) Project.
HISTORY OF THE HENRIETTA LACKS LIFE SCIENCE CENTER AND COMMISSION:
The Henrietta Lacks LSC and Commission is a joint effort begun by the Halifax County, Virginia, Industrial Development Authority (IDA), in partnership with the Virginia Legislature; Office of the Governor of Virginia; Henrietta Lacks family; Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group; and The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center.
Henrietta Lacks is an important historical figure in the world of cancer treatment and biomedical research. She was raised, married and started her family in Halifax County, Virginia, and is buried in a cemetery in the Lacks Town area of the county in Clover, Virginia. The story of how her unique cell line became one of the most important biomedical research advancements of the 20th century gained world-wide attention through the New York Times Best Selling Book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, released in 2010. An HBO movie of the same name, was produced by and starred Oprah Winfrey.
The Henrietta Lacks LSC is currently conceived to be a $50M, 200,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art medical research and treatment facility, to be built in the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority’s Southern Virginia Technology Park (SVTP), a short drive from Henrietta Lacks’ Clover, Virginia home and final resting place. The Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center will be managed through a foundation, directed by representatives of the stakeholders who will build, operate, advance and sustain its multipurpose mission. These stakeholders will include the Lacks Family, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Halifax County IDA, resident research institutions, healthcare providers, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, and others as determined by the Henrietta Lacks Commission
The Henrietta Lacks Life Science Center’s mission will be to accelerate biomedical research through advanced methods, and highest-speed bio-data collection and analysis facilitated by the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) 1.2TBPS network, originally funded by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. Henrietta Lacks LSC will also provide personalized medical treatments to the overly affected yet underserved citizens of rural Southern Virginia; research, develop and commercialize new therapies; help transform the Southern Virginia economy; all the while appropriately honoring Henrietta Lacks’ unique legacy where it is most appropriate and most needed.
We are the Henrietta Lacks Legacy Group a non-profit (501c3) organization promoting the immortal biological contributions of Henrietta Lacks through social justice initiatives and community service partnerships in medicine and the biological sciences.