Henrietta Lacks Scholarship in Biology is awarded annually on the recommendation of the Chair of the Department of Biology to an outstanding full-time student in the second year of a degree program in Biology or Biochemistry who is a Black woman. Application is required.  Established in 2021 in memory of Henrietta Lacks whose cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line, the first immortalized human cell line and one of the most important cell lines in medical research. Value $1,000.

The history and scientific contribution of Black, Indigenous, and racialized people has been conspicuously absent from Science curriculum and members of these racialized groups are under-represented in biological fields. This scholarship was initiated and made possible through the remarkable fundraising efforts of the Carleton HeLa Team.

Applications to the 2022 Inaugural Henrietta Lacks Scholarship in Biology are now being accepted. Eligible undergraduate students in Biology and Biochemistry entering their second year of study in 2022-23 are encouraged to apply.

Applications should be submitted to biology@carleton.ca by end of day Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

General Eligibility Criteria

  • Black students who are women
  • Enrolled in the second year of full-time enrolment in a degree program in Biology or Biochemistry
  • Demonstrated interest in increased representation for Black women in science
  • Demonstrated financial need

Questions should be directed to biology@carleton.ca.

Carleton Biology Lacks Lab

HeLa cells have been used in a pair of upper-year cell biology courses at Carleton University for the past 10 years. In 2022, a first-floor lab in the Tory Building has been renamed the Lacks Lab.

With the support of the Lacks family, the Carleton HeLa Initiative was launched by a group of students in 2021 with the goal of raising awareness about the contribution Henrietta Lacks has made to modern science.

Read more about the students who launched the Carleton HeLa initiative.

Carleton HeLa Initiative Honours Henrietta Lacks – Plaque Presentation to the Lacks Family