International Cord Blood Congress Planned for 2018

Twelve organizations are collaborating on CBA-hosted conference

An international conference that embraces all components of the cord blood community – public and private banking, clinical and laboratory investigations, manufacturing, administration, training and education – will be held Sept. 14-16, 2018, in Miami Beach, Florida.

The conference, called Cord Blood Connect, will bring together the many people and organizations worldwide that engage in, or are served by, the banking of cord blood and perinatal tissues, as well as associated therapeutics. 

2018 Cord Blood Connect

Multiple Tracks

Several educational tracks are planned.  One will focus on clinical and translational sciences, including transplant and emerging novel and regenerative therapies using cord blood, mesenchymal cell, and other components of cord blood and perinatal tissues.  Particular attention will be given to pre-clinical and Phase I-III trials that are targeting wound healing, orthopedic applications, cerebral palsy, autism, stroke and other neurological diseases.

Another track will offer education and training for cord blood bank administrative and technical personnel.  Sessions will encompass laboratory procedures, manufacturing, global regulations, accreditation, marketing and public education.

“We want this meeting to invigorate and inspire the cord blood community.  The meeting should meet everyone’s needs through concurrent scientific and educational sessions and workshops,” CBA President Joanne Kurtzberg said.  “The program will be structured to encourage networking among the participants because we know sometimes the most valuable information can come from discussions with peers outside of the formal presentations.”


Collaborating with CBA in the development of the conference are nonprofit organizations within, or strongly tied to, cord blood banking:

  • American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT)
  • Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR)
  • Eurocord
  • European School of Haematology
  • Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT)
  • International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT)
  • Perinatal Stem Cell Society (PSCS)
  • National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) / Be The Match
  • Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation (PGCBF)
  • Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF)
  • Save the Cord Foundation (SCF)
  • World Marrow Donor Program (WMDA) / NetCord

A stakeholder committee, with representatives of each of the organizations, will help guide the conference format and content. 

“We want each of the collaborating organizations to view this conference as their own for workshops, committee meetings and networking,” Kenneth Giacin, CBA vice president, said.

“The conference name, Cord Blood Connect, denotes the coming together of the nonprofit organizations, as well as the multi-national dimensions of the field,” he said.  “Connect also references the linkage between investigators and banking service providers, and the mutual interests of public and private banks.”

Oceanside Venue

Cord Blood Connect will convene at Loews Miami Beach Hotel, located oceanside in the heart of the fabled South Beach neighborhood with its trendy restaurants, shops and attractions. 

September provides some of the best “off season” savings, and special rates have been negotiated to make conference registration and housing affordable for teams of cord blood bank personnel.  Learning together as a team will be a theme of the conference.

Save the Dates

Circle the Friday-Sunday weekend, Sept. 14-16, 2018, on your calendar.  Several of the collaborating organizations are expected to hold meetings or programs on the Friday before, during, or on the Monday after the main conference.

Details about those events, as well as the conference sessions, will be announced over the next several months as those plans come together.