The woman whose cells have made a significant medical breakthrough is to be honored at a special awards ceremony by global health leaders.
Mrs Lax, a mother of five, died 70 years ago on 4 October 1951.
His 87-year-old son Lawrence Lacks, who was only 17 when he died, will receive the award at a special awards ceremony in Geneva.
The ceremony will honor Mrs Lax and call for “equality in health and science”, the WHO said.
Mrs Lax, born in the US in 1920, died in 1951 of an aggressive form of cervical cancer and samples of her cells were collected by doctors without her or her family’s knowledge.
It was during surgery that a sample of cells was taken from tumors in the Louisiana-born Ms. Lax’s body before she died in Baltimore at the age of 31.
The cells were sent to a laboratory, where they were found to be the first living human cells to survive and multiply outside the human body.
Research on cells led to the polio vaccine, gene mapping and IVF treatment, as well as other advances, and as a result she was named the “mother” of modern medicine.
Studies on cells also led to the development of the human papillomavirus vaccine, which protects against various cancers, including cervical cancer.
The cells became known as HeLa cells, taking the first two letters of the first and last names of Henrietta Lacks.
HeLa cells are used in almost every major hospital and science-based university in the world.
More than 50,000,000 metric tons of HeLa cells have been distributed worldwide, the subject of more than 75,000 studies
But it was only in 1975 that the family came to know about his legacy by chance.