Leading research to understand, treat, and prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases.
Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation | Division of AIDS | Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases | Division of Extramural Activities | Division of Clinical Research | Division of Intramural Research | Vaccine Research Center
Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman whose cells were removed during a biopsy in 1951 and used for research without her knowledge or approval. Her cells (commonly known as HeLa cells) have revolutionized the field of medicine and have been used for decades in biomedical research – to study cancer, the effects of radiation, and AIDS among other areas. This timeline includes events from 1920 (when Lacks was born) to 2013 (when NIH announced an agreement with the Lacks family to allow biomedical researchers controlled access to the whole genome data of HeLa cells.