Common Reading Program Faculty Resources

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, 2013 selection

Overview of college disciplines and how the book may be tied into the curriculum: (North Carolina A&T State University, 2013).


Curriculum Tie-Ins
Biology cell reproduction; tissue harvesting
Math number of cells sold, reproduced, and remaining in storage
Business business of tissue harvesting and economic impact; Intellectual Property Laws
Psychology impact on the Lacks family and decendants
English/Journalism storytelling, fact checking, linguistics
Engineering Analysis of machines George Gey invented to grow cells; Current Tissue Culture Technology; Regenerative medicine
History treatment classes and races in 1950s & 1960s; Impact science research of HBCUs in 1950s and 1960s; Nuremberg Code; Tuskegee Syphillis Study; Nuremberg Trials
Social Work treatment of oldest child of Henrietta Lacks and children after her death
Human Subjects Standards for Ethical Research; Johns Hopkins Hospital staff
English Graphic Novel: Truth: Red, White & Black; braided structure of the book



Rebecca Skloot’s website/teacher’s resources

Random House Reader’s Guide

Portland Community College Common Reading website

LaGuardia Community College book resources

 SMU Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility

Washington State University’s Common Reading Program




Dr. Stanley Gartler, Washington State University lecture for Common Reading Program