Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: The author

UMW's Common Read 2015-2016

This guide is from 2015, and is no longer being maintained. Some of its information is outdated and some of its links are broken.

Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot

The following is excerpted from Rebecca Skloot's official bio. You can read the full bio on her website.


Rebecca Skloot is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Her award winning science writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; and many other publications. She specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, race and medicine, food politics, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan. 

Skloot is the founder and president of The Henrietta Lacks Foundation, which has been featured in the New York Times. She has a B.S. in biological sciences and an MFA in creative nonfiction. She financed her degrees by working in emergency rooms, neurology labs, veterinary morgues and martini bars. She has taught creative writing and science journalism at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburgh, and New York University. She currently gives talks on subjects ranging from bioethics to book proposals at conferences and universities nationwide.

Becoming a writer

"...One day, when I was getting ready to submit my applications for vet school, my writing teacher pulled me aside and said, Do you realize you’re a writer? And do you know there’s such a thing as a science writer?"

In the essay "Immortal Words," Skloot talks about how she wound up becoming a writer, and why she chose to write about Henrietta Lacks. Click to read the essay.

Articles written by Skloot

Here are a few of the articles that Skloot has written in her career as a science writer. A longer list of articles is available on Skloot's website.

Articles about Skloot

These articles talk about Skloot's life and her writing process. For more articles like these, see the list on Skloot's website.

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Peter Catlin