The Cord Blood Connect international congress is more than a scientific research conference. It’s a seminal event for keeping abreast of developments in the cord blood field, making connections with peers, and profiting from a wide array of education and training opportunities.
Here are three top reasons for you to attend:
- Experience world-class faculty and content. The congress features more acknowledged experts than any cord blood conference anywhere.
- Improve your technical skills. Participate in education and training sessions, developed by professionals who are familiar with the needs and interests of banking personnel.
- Network with your peers. Sessions have been designed to facilitate one-on-one and group participation.
In future years, you’ll be able to say that you were at the first Cord Blood Connect international congress and have attended every one since.
What You Can Expect
Here’s a rundown of preparations with 30 days left on the count-down clock.
Scientific Program: Peruse the agenda. You’ll find renowned authorities leading sessions on the state of cord blood science, a review of clinical outcomes, advances in hematopoietic cell transplantation, engineering of cord blood grafts, cord blood-derived immunotherapies, the potential power of mesenchymal stem cells, emerging uses of cord blood in regenerative medicine, and understanding and optimizing approaches to regulation of cellular therapies. Continuing medical education (CME) credit will be offered.
Technical Program: A new dimension will be the emphasis on cord blood collection, processing, storage, release and bank administration. Personnel on the frontlines of cord blood banking will lead sessions on banking economics and logistics, cord blood collection and public education, manufacturing and quality specifications, international and domestic shipping and transplantation, alternative uses for birthing tissues, and education for prenatal and pediatric health providers. Continuing medical laboratory education (CMLE) credit will be offered.
Networking: The congress is purposely designed to promote interaction and networking among participants. Several of the sessions have been structured for “TED talk”-type presentations and “speed dating” at breakout tables. A mobile app will feature a “Meet Up” function that enables attendees to request and accept one-on-one meetings at suggested times and places.
Pre-Registration: More than 250 already have pre-registered. The registration fee has been kept low – less than half of similar conferences – so that cord blood banks and other facilities can send multiple staff members to cover concurrent sessions, network with others doing parallel activity in the field, and learn as a team.
Abstracts: The abstract review committee has accepted more than two dozen scientific and technical abstracts for poster presentation. Two were selected as Best Abstracts for oral presentation in “The Innovators” plenary session. You can meet all the authors in an evening poster session.
Collaborators: Fourteen organizations within, or closely allied to, cord blood banking and therapies have helped with the design and development of the congress. Some will have their own adjacent workshops, conferences, meetings and social events. For example, AABB is sponsoring the Welcome Reception. WMDA/NetCord and FACT have organized a pre-conference workshop on global perspectives of cord blood transplants, ethical dilemmas, and common deficiencies in accreditation. FACT also will be conducting a half-day Quality Boot Camp, and a half-day cord blood bank inspector training program. Separate registration is required. The day after the congress, a by-invitation Regenerative Medicine InterCHANGE conference will bring together representatives of at least 15 health care organizations to discuss issues in the fast-evolving field of regenerative medicine.
Exhibits: The “Solutions Center” exhibit hall is already sold out . . . at least technically. By reconfiguring the layout of the hall and using well-trafficked public space, room is being made for others who still want to have exhibit booths.
Corporate Support: The commitment of industry to the vision of Cord Blood Connect has been phenomenal. Speaking with their pocketbooks as well as words of encouragement, they have contributed more than a quarter million dollars to help underwrite the costs of the congress. Major funding has come from Cord Blood Registry (Platinum support); PerkinElmer Viacord, Sino Cell Technologies and StemCyte (Gold support); Celularity, Gamida Cell, Magenta Therapeutics and the National Marrow Donor Program (Silver support).
Celebration: Although principally designed to be a forward-looking event, Cord Blood Connect will also, appropriately, pay homage to those who have built the foundation upon which the community stands. “The Innovators” is a plenary session that will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first cord blood transplant and the achievements of the Original Pioneers as well as Today’s Pioneers in our field.
Dr. Eliane Gluckman, who performed the first cord blood transplant in 1988, will be presented with CBA’s first Lifetime Achievement Award. Several others involved in that event also will be on stage, including the first cord blood transplant recipient (five years of age at the time of his transplant).
Exciting Venue: And not to be overlooked, the venue, Loews Miami Beach Hotel, is oceanside in the heart of the fabled South Beach neighborhood with its trendy restaurants, shops and attractions.
If you attend only one cord blood meeting over the next 12 months, this is the one you won’t want to miss . . . . the one that everyone will be talking about.