Saturday, October 18, 2014

How HeLa Cells Have Advanced Medical Research

The Bridgewater Public Library will host Dr. Jennifer Mendell on Saturday, October 25 at 11a.m. for a One Book One Community Program. Dr. Mendell will speak about “How HeLa Cells Have Advanced Medical Research: An Historical Perspective”. HeLa refers to the cells of Henrietta Lacks, the subject of Bridgewater’s current OBOC selection: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Dr. Mendell is a faculty member in the Biology Department at Bridgewater State University. She received her BA from Wheaton College and her PhD from Cornell University.

Bridgewater’s One Book One Community program is a partnership which includes Bridgewater State University, the Center for the Advancement of STEM Education (CASE), the Bridgewater Public Library, Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School, Friends of the Bridgewater Public Library and the Bridgewater Senior Center.

The current semester’s selection, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never know. It is a story connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bio-ethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

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