Definition of HeLa cell
HeLa cell: One of the cells grown from the cervical cancer of a young African-American woman, Henrietta Lacks. HeLa cells were the first human cells to be continuously grown in culture.
The cells were first cultured in February 1951 by Drs. George and Margaret Gey at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. The cells appear "immortal" and are still used in medical research today.
Who owns those cells? For many years, Lacks's children have sought recognition of their mother's contribution to science.
The designation "HeLa" was taken from the name of Henrietta Lacks.
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012
Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Need help identifying pills and medications?
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions