About The Foundation

Our Mission

We provide financial assistance to individuals in need, and their families, who have made important contributions to scientific research without personally benefiting from those contributions, particularly those used in research without their knowledge or consent.

The Foundation offers those who have benefited from those contributions — including scientists, universities, corporations, and the general public — a way to show their appreciation to such research subjects and their families.

Support for Grant Recipients

The Foundation has awarded more than 50 grants to many qualifying members of Henrietta Lacks’s immediate family. These include grants for health care and dental assistance, tuition and books, job training and maintaining employment, and emergency relief. We have also awarded education grants to the family members of the survivors of the Tuskegee Syphilis Studies through our support of The Voices of Our Fathers Legacy Foundation, whose mission is “To uplift the legacy of the USPHS Study In Macon County by honoring the men in the study and convening their families as a means to preserve history and enrich education in clinical and public health research.” Our goal is to continue to help the Lacks family as well as others with similar needs who may qualify.

If you would like to learn more about the Lacks family, please visit their website.

Board of Directors

Rebecca Skloot (president and founder) is the author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. She has a BS in biological sciences and an MFA in nonfiction writing. She has taught science writing at New York University, University of California Berkeley, and others. You can learn more about Rebecca at www.rebeccaskloot.com

Dr. Roland Pattillo (vice president) is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Morehouse School of Medicine, where he founded and has organized the annual HeLa Health Symposium, now in its 21st year. He was the first African American student of George Gey, the scientist who first cultured the HeLa cell line at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. David Kroll (secretary) is a science writer who contributes regularly to Forbes. He was Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at NCState and Director of Science Communication at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Dr. Clyde Yancy, MD, MSc, is vice dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Magerstadt Professor and chief of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Dr. Yancy co-chaired the NIH HeLa Genome Working Group from 2013 to 2017.

Monica Kearson is a Human Resources Business Partner at McCormick & Company, Inc. in Hunt Valley, MD. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Coppin University and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Towson University.


    Make a Donation



    Or you can send your donation as a check or money order to:

    The Henrietta Lacks Foundation 5315 N. Clark St., Box #117 Chicago, IL 60640 USA


    Donors may opt in to receive a periodic newsletter updating them on the status of the Foundation and how their donations have been used for grants.