The Founding Fathers of Cord Blood Banking
In Cord Blood We Trust
In 1985, Dr. Hal Broxmeyer discovered the presence of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in human cord blood. Today, 31 years later, cord blood can be used to treat more than 80 diseases including sickle cell, leukemia, and lymphoma. Cord blood banking has had a long, groundbreaking journey and it would not be where is is today without the help a few extraordinary people. These are the so-called founding fathers of cord blood banking that helped revolutionize regenerative medicine.
Meet the founding fathers of cord blood banking:
Dr. Hal Broxmeyer serves as the Mary Margaret Walther Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Professor of Medicine and Scientific Director of the Walther Oncology Center at the University of Indiana School of Medicine. He is known for his studies on the positive and negative regulation of blood cell production, which since the 1970s and have resulted in over 600 publications for his extensive research on umbilical cord blood since 1980. In 1985, Dr. Broxmeyer discovered HSCs in human umbilical cord blood, giving rise to umbilical cord blood to be used to treat a number of different diseases. His discoveries helped lead to the first 5 cord blood transplants. Broxmeyer has won numerous awards including the prestigious E. Donnall Thomas Award from ASH. Dr. Broxmeyer has a B.S. from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.
Pablo Rubinstein originated the concept of public cord banking in 1989. With sponsorship from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health he opened the first public cord blood bank in the world at New York Blood Center. This program received the first FDA IND for cord blood banking in 1996. Dr. Rubinstein helped pioneer the methods of cord blood collection and storage that have become industry standards. Since, the 1990s, Dr. Rubinstein has been working with many public blood banks and developing new technology to improve public cord blood banking. Dr. Rubinstein has received the Shirley Nolan Award of the World Marrow Donor Association, in 2012, and the Prix Galien USA, for HEMACORD®, named Best Biotechnology Product of 2014.
Dr. Robert A. Dracker is a Graduate of New York University, where he earned his B.A. in Biology, and Doctorate of Medicine from SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse. He received his M.S. in Health Services Management from New School for Social Research and his M.B.A. from Columbia College. Currently, Dracker is the Executive Medical Director of Americord Registry. He is responsible for all laboratory, collection, and transport procedures. However, in the 1990s Dracker was apart of the Working Group on Cord Blood Stem Cell Guidelines for New York State and helped establish the New York cord blood banking licensing requirements. He helped found the original private cord blood banking company, Viacord or Viacell. He continues to work at Americord Registry, a leader the cord blood banking where he continues to innovate the cord blood banking industry.
Martin Smithmyer founded Americord Registry in 2008. He serves as their President and Chief Executive Officer. Americord is a leader in cord blood banking and in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking. It is currently the fastest growing private cord blood bank in the country. With the help of Dr. Robert Dracker, Smithmyer has worked to revolutionize cord blood banking, including being one of the only private cord blood banks currently storing placenta tissue. Smithmyer worked in the medical field for a long time before Americord was established. He worked for a Healthcare Investment Banking Group at BMO Capital Markets. He also served as Vice President and Head of Healthcare IT Investment Banking. Currently, he is serving as a Member of Advisory Board of Americord Registry LLC. Mr. Smithmyer received an MBA from American University and graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a BS in Biology, with an emphasis on pre-med.
“Hal Broxmeyer Ph.D.: Executive Profile & Biography.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, n.d. Web. 30 June 2016.
“Martin Smithmyer MBA: Executive Profile & Biography.” Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, n.d. Web. 30 June 2016.
“Milestones.” Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Banking. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2016.
“Pablo Rubinstein, MD.” New York Blood Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2016.