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Top 5 Influences in the Global Cord Blood Banking Market

This post considers five of the most influential people operating within the cord blood banking marketplace. These individuals are all renowned industry experts, innovative thought leaders, and of course, highly sought after speakers, advisers, and board members. Their individual opinions on cord blood banking topics can substantially alter public perception.

As such, it is critical to be aware and educated about the role that these individuals have played – and continue to play – within the cord blood banking marketplace.

1st Place:  Dr. Elaine Gluckman

Esteemed French doctor, Elaine Gluckman, has been performing stem cell transplantations for over 30 years. She is a founding member of the European Group of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Head of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation at the Hospital Saint-Louis in Paris. Dr. Elaine Gluckman performed the first successful umbilical cord transplant on a human being in 1988.

For this high achievement she has been named the “Mother of Cord Blood Transplant.” Among her many awards in the field,  she has been decorated “Legion d’honneur and the Ordre du mérité in France” and was bestowed with an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Basel in 2005.

Currently, she is focused on researching congenital bone marrow and failure transplantation of umbilical cord blood.

2nd Place:  Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg

Dr. Kurtzberg is best known for performing the first unrelated cord blood transplant in the world in 1993. At that time, she performed the first two successful unrelated donor cord blood transplants, one of which was used to treat a patient with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In 1996, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, along with Drs. Rubinstein and Stevens, published results of unrelated cord blood transplantation from their first 25 patients in the New England Journal of Medicine.

She has built her career around developing and refining umbilical cord blood transplantation techniques. She completed her training at the New York Medical College and worked with Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse in New York and Duke University Medical Center.

As part of her current activities, Dr. Kurtzberg optimizes both clinical and laboratory-based translational research revolving around various aspects of normal and malignant hematopoiesis. Her love and passion for the field of cord blood transplant research has led her to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium.

3rd Place:  Dr. Pablo Rubinstein

Dr. Pablo Rubinstein is the co-founder and director of the National Cord Blood Program in the New York Blood Center, and his greatest achievement has been advancing knowledge and techniques within the field of cord blood banking in the U.S. and worldwide. He began his medical training in Universidad de Chile and afterwards worked both in Chile and the U.S.. To date, he has published more than two hundred research papers on the topics of immunogenetics, transplantation, cord blood banking, and similar industry topics. He is also an adjunct clinical professor at Columbia University.

Following the first sibling-donor cord blood transplant in 1988 by Dr. Elaine Gluckman (see #1), the National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded a grant to Rubinstein to develop the world’s first cord blood program at the New York Blood Center. The purpose of this public cord blood system was to create an inventory of umbilical cord blood stem cell units that could be used for medical purposes as unrelated, transplant matches.

His hard work paid off shortly thereafter, when in 1993, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg (see #2) from Duke University successfully used cord blood stored by the New Cord Blood Center to perform a series of pioneering transplant surgeries.

4th Place:  Dr. Hal Broxmeyer

In 1983, Dr. Hal Broxmeyer and his team were the first to suggest that umbilical cord blood could serve as an alternative source of hematopoietic stem cells for transplant, instead of bone marrow. He is the founder of CORD:USE Family Cord Blood Bank.

He was also responsible for storing the cord blood that was collected during the birth of Matthew Farrow’s sister; Matthew Farrow was a five-year old child who received the first successful cord blood transplant in the world performed by Dr. Elaine Gluckman in the St. Louis Hospital, of Paris, France. (Note: Matthew’s U.S. physician was Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg.)

In 1989, Dr. Broxmeyer published a landmark paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrating that cord blood has similar attributes to bone marrow, including that it contains an enriched source of stem and progenitor cells. As such, he again proposed cord blood as a possible alternative to bone marrow as a source of hematopoietic stem cells for use in transplantation.

Dr. Broxmeyer has been a critical figure during the birth and gradual maturation of the cord blood banking marketplace. He has written or co-authored more than 600 papers pertaining to the science and mechanisms of cord blood stem cells. In addition, he was the 2010 President for the American Society of Hematology (ASH), which is the world’s largest professional society that addresses the causes of and remedies for blood disorders.

5th Place:  Geoffrey Crouse

Mr. Crouse is the CEO of Cord Blood Registry (CBR), the largest cord blood bank in the United States and worldwide. CBR currently has more than a half million cord blood and cord tissue units stored in its Tucson, AZ, laboratory. Mr. Crouse was also selected as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Cord Blood Association, formed in 2014 within the United States. More recently, he was elected Vice President of this organization.

With a B.A. from Boston College and a M.B.A. and M.P.H. from the University of California at Berkeley, Mr. Crouse joined the Cord Blood Registry as its CEO in 2012. He had previously worked at other major biomedical behemoths, to include Immucor, Millipore Corporation, Roche, and more.

He is passionate about his work within the field of cord blood banking and actively promotes cord blood banking.

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