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Bearkats Read to Succeed speakers to highlight issues surrounding ‘Henrietta Lacks’

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 01:11

The Bearkats Read to Succeed program is hosting a series of programs and events this week relating to the book selected for this year’s freshman to read.


“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” chronicles the story of cells taken from a woman, Henrietta Lacks, without her knowledge that eventually became one of the biggest breakthroughs in science. The book also follows the tale of Lacks’ family as they deal with their unwanted newfound fame.


The Juried Art Show opened Sunday and will be open in the Lowman Student Center Art Gallery until Friday. The show is composed of art submitted by students that relates to “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack”.


Rhonda Callaway, Ph.D., an assistant political science professor and chair of the history department, will discuss issues of women’s rights in the cancer treatment field. The presentation will take place in LSC Room 320 on Wednesday from 10 to 11 a.m.


Following Callaway, Donovan Haines, Ph.D., an assistant chemistry professor, will give a presentation over the relationship between chemistry and cancer from 11 a.m. to noon in LSC 320.


Later on Wednesday, Diana Buccafurni-Huber, Ph.D., an assistant philosophy professor, will be lecturing on the moral value of dignity in relation to biomedical research from 3 to 4 p.m. in LSC 320.


Bernadette Pruitt, Ph.D., an associate history professor, will be moderating a Hot Topics Expert Panel Discussion over the issues raised in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, such as, race, disease, gender, and education. The discussion will take place Wednesday in the Olson Auditorium from 5 to 7 p.m.


On Thursday Todd Primm, Ph.D., an associate biological sciences professor, will address the science of immortal cells and their relationship to cancer. The presentation will be held in the LSC Ballroom from 9:30 to 10:50 a.m.


To conclude the week of programs, Sonny Lacks, the son of Henrietta Lacks, will be on campus for an interview by students discussing his firsthand perspective on the ethics and race issue of the commercialization of human tissue. The interview will take place Thursday in the LSC Ballroom from 3 to 4 p.m. A book signing will be held following the interview. For more information, visit the calendar of events on the SHSU website.

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