It was not until 1999, eleven years after she first heard of HeLa cells, that Rebecca Skloot found some papers from a gathering called “The HeLa Cancer Control Symposium.” She called Roland Pattillo, a professor of gynecology who had organized the symposium.
On the phone, Pattillo admitted to Rebecca that he knew the Lacks family. However, he said flat-out that he was not eager to put her into contact with them. For over an hour, he pressured her to explain why she wanted to research Henrietta Lacks. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but you are...
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