In conjunction with this year’s First Year Seminar common book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, a panel discussion including Lack’s son and medical experts will be at 7 p.m. on Tues. Nov. 1 in the Curb Event Center.
Already a New York Times bestseller, the novel and soon to be HBO movie is about how a woman’s cells were unknowingly taken for scientific research including the development of polio vaccinations, cloning and gene mapping.
This panel discussion will complement Rebecca Skloot’s book by providing students the opportunity to ask questions about scientific research and biomedical ethics while hearing the personal account of a Lacks family member and the impact Henrietta’s legacy had on the family, Belmont professor Dr. Regine Schwarzmeier said.
Mentioned in the book, David “Sonny” Lacks, a son of Henrietta, will be a panelist with the Kyle brothers from Vanderbilt’s Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society. The brothers are a pediatrician and specialist on clinical ethics and the ethics of genetic research respectively.
In addition to two guest speakers, the panel will also include Belmont professor Jennifer Thomas. At Belmont, Thomas specializes in microbiology, molecular biology, cancer biology and immunology.
After each panel member speaks, there will be a Q&A to follow for those in attendance moderated by Journalism professor Dr. Sybril Bennett.
The event is free and is also Academic Lecture convocation for Belmont students.