Professor Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine
Dr. Roland A. Pattillo’s contributions to public service are many and varied. He authored the first stem cell publication in 1968 with Dr. George Gey, founder of cell culture at the Johns Hopkins University—“Invitro Identification of the Trophoblastic Stem Cell” in the American Journal of OBGYN, vol. 100, issue 582 (February 1968). The confirmation of the cancer stem cell nature of this system was published in Science vol . 159, issue 1467, March 1968. The cell line establishment was verified in Cancer Research vol. 28, issue 1231, July 1968. “Cancer Stem Cell Characteristics and Immunologic Express” were identified later in Science , vol. 196, volume 1456, June 1977. He is professor emeritus at Morehouse School of Medicine.
In addition to his crucial research, Dr. Pattillo has been and continues to be actively involved in health disparity awareness in minority populations. He launched the first National HeLa Cancer Control Symposium at Morehouse School of Medicine in 10/11/1996. For 22 years, the conference has featured notable physicians and researchers, including Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, cardiologist and director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The objective of the conference is to provide a forum for long overdue recognition of Henrietta Lacks of the famed HeLa cell line and to interrogate the characteristics of triple negativity—negative to the estrogen receptor—most common in black women and Native American women. He presented at the first HeLa Conference the ElCo Cell Line and it has been applied to and instrumental in the treatment of triple negative breast cancer in all women.