Below are our awards for the top five cord blood industry influencers worldwide.
These individuals are all renowned industry experts, innovative thought leaders, and highly sought after speakers, advisors, and board members. Their opinions on cord blood banking topics can substantially alter public perception.
Congrats to those on this list!
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.
She was also the first president of the Cord Blood Association.
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: Dr. Niranjan Bhattacharya
Another stalwart in the field of cord blood, Professor Dr. Niranjan Bhattacharya, Head of the Department, Regenerative Medicine and Translational Science, Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata, India.
Dr. Bhattacharya is credited as the first person to conduct more than 1,200 cord blood transfusions in patients with severe anemia (less than 8 gm/100ml) without the report of single adverse event. Long-term follow-up studies confirm that nearly all patients achieved a sustainable rise in hemoglobin levels, imparting a positive impact on background conditions.
The following method of cord blood transfusion under the titles “A study on Human Umbilical Cord Blood Transfusion in Case of Bone marrow suppression” and “Placental Umbilical Cord Whole Blood Transfusion” is also globally patented by the Department of Science and Technology, India. Dr. Bhattacharya is credited with setting up India’s first public cord blood bank and is the one of the few clinical researchers in India to get a Doctor of Science Award in Obstetrics and Gynaecology for his award-winning work on “Intra-amniotic antigenic disruption of human fetal growth: search for a new safe and cheaper method of abortion in third world countries.”
His current work focuses on understanding the molecular effects of cord blood transfusion and the effect of its components on the stimulation of the bone marrow, including the application of pregnancy-specific biological substances as a substitute to the standard wound healing and dressing model. For his achievements, Dr Bhattacharya received the Coates Medal for “most notable contribution made to the medical sciences in the preceding seven years” at the Annual Convocation of Calcutta University in 2004.