Improving Access to Safe Blood: The International Blood Safety Forum

March 24, 2017 / Arlington, VA

Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s Forum. For ongoing communications with the network, you can sign up for the IBSA listserv HERE.

IBSF Attendees: Please complete our followup survey below.

Powerpoint presentations from the IBSF are now available online.

Join industry, academic, and government leaders who are working to improve access to safe blood in the developing world as we examine:

  • The Sustainable Development Agenda: Where does blood fit in?
  • Access to affordable, safe blood in developing countries: What remains to be done?
  • Governments, international organizations, foundations, industry, NGOs, and healthcare providers: How can we collaborate to make safe blood accessible to all who need it?The challenge for the next decade is to make safe blood products more widely available – and affordable – in order to decrease rates of maternal mortality, childhood anemia, and trauma deaths worldwide.

The IBSF will review the progress that has been made under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the gaps that still remain in access to safe blood. PEPFAR resources are now being redirected to HIV testing and treatment leaving gaps in access to safe blood unfilled in many developing countries.  Invited speakers at the IBSF will analyze the cost drivers for safe blood and present the business case for increasing the supply of safe blood in developing countries.  Representatives from industry, international organizations, developing country blood programs and NGOs will collaborate to put forward potential solutions to the current shortages of affordable blood products in the developing world.  

You can also download the agenda here.

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The Location

Christine Bales, BS, MT (ASCP), I, CQA (ASQ)

Christine Bales, AABB Vice President Consulting and Global Services serves as a Technical Assistance expert in Quality Management Systems for Blood Centers and Transfusion Services. She designs implementation models to be used as roadmaps to Blood Donor Centers and Transfusion Services facility accreditations. Christine has experience as an assessor for AABB and a CAP inspector. She is a certified Quality Auditor, CQA (ASQ). Ms. Bales has over 20 years of management experience in laboratory medicine, blood donor centers and hospital-based transfusion services. During Christine’s years as CEO and senior management she led organizations through strategic planning activities, process improvement activities, and facility accreditation processes. Christine holds a Certificate in Organizational Leadership from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Purdue University and certifications in Medical Technology and Immunology from ASCP. She is a member of the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) ASCP (American Society of Clinical Pathology), ASQ (American Society for Quality) and AACC (American Association of Clinical Chemistry).

Linda Barnes

Linda Barnes draws from more than 25 years of experience as a leader in international clinical research programs, biologics manufacturing, hospital, and laboratory administration. Her passion is health system strengthening, locally and internationally. Ms. Barnes is a graduate of Whitman College with a degree in Biology. She obtained her Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Washington, School of Public Health. Her interest in international work started as a foreign exchange student in Italy. She later lived in China as a resident teacher with the Sichuan Foreign Languages Institute in Chongqing, Sichuan Province. She continues her international engagements through consultations in blood system strengthening and innovation in Central Asia, East Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Ms. Barnes was introduced to quality management early in her career and designed several programs over time, including the inaugural system used at Bloodworks in the late 1990s. She sat for her Boards in regulatory affairs achieving her RAC certificate in 2000. After more than 17 years in blood banking quality, she moved to operations as a hospital and laboratory administrator at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for several years. Then, following her interest in research and international capacity-building, she became the program director for the International Clinical Research Center within the newly formed Department of Global Health at the University of Washington. She launched and managed multiple interventional and observational HIV-prevention studies in sub-Saharan Africa involving more than 15,000 participants in seven different countries. She also worked for Dendreon where she scaled domestic and international expansion of apheresis capacity for a first-in-class immunotherapy treatment, later joining the global sales force where she led a team of Nurse Educators through the commercialization phase of the product launch. Since then, she has been with Bloodworks in several C- suite capacities: Chief Quality Officer, Chief Information Officer, and currently, Chief Operating Officer.

Professor Imelda Bates

Professor Bates is a clinician and an experienced research leader with a well-established international reputation for original research in public health issues. She established and lead the Capacity Research Unit which is at the forefront of innovative research into the science of capacity strengthening, focussing on capacity for research and for laboratory systems. She has 30 years’ experience of managing multi-disciplinary teams and multi-site research in low income countries, predominantly in Africa. She has supervised and examined many post-graduate research students in the UK, EU and Africa. She also has experience on international and national agencies including as an expert advisor on anaemia for WHO, vice-chair of the Royal College of Pathologists International Committee and chair of the British Society for Haematology LMIC working group.

Evan M Bloch, MD, MS

Dr. Bloch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he serves as the Associate Director of Transfusion Medicine. His major research interests include transfusion transmitted infections and international blood safety.

Marcia Cardoso, PhD 

  • 1979-1982 Bachelor in Genetics by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 1984-1988 PhD Work at the Department of Virology at University of Ulm, Germany
  • 1988 Doctor of Human Biology, DR.RER.BIOL.HUM., Faculty for Theoretical Medicine, University of Ulm
  • 1989-1991 Post-Doc Position at the Department of Transfusion Medicine, University of Ulm and German Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service of Baden-Württemberg in Ulm
  • 1991-2001 Head of the Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) Section/Department at the German Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service of Baden-Württemberg
  • 2001-2004 European Marketing Director Chiron Blood Testing and Marketing Activities in Brazil
  • 2005-2008 Scientific Marketing Manager, MacoPharma GmbH
  • 2008- 2009 Global Brand Manager, MacoPharma GmbH
  • 2009-2011 Scientific Marketing Manager for Pathogen Reduction Technology, CaridianBCT
  • 2011-Global Senior Scientific Marketing Manager Blood Center Segment, Terumo BCT
  • Co-author in more than 70 scientific papers and one patent

Armelle Cooray

Mrs. Cooray joined Grifols in 2015 in the role of market access Associate Director with an emphasis in government affairs and international policy. She has comprehensive experience across the diagnostic industry, global affairs, and the medical stakeholder community where she has focused on translation of public health strategy into implementation. Mrs. Cooray primary responsibilities at Grifols include Global Health Sustainability Projects such as the Blood Supply Initiative, successfully networking with experts and key opinion leaders. Since coming to Grifols, Mrs. Cooray has been actively involved with the APEC Life Science Innovation Forum (LSIF) to support the endorsement of the 2020 APEC Blood Supply Chain 2020 Roadmap and the 2017 Hanoi Principles. Believing that blood safety is integral to advancing public health and reducing many of the health burdens, such as maternal health, childhood health and chronic diseases (i.e. HIV/AIDS, malaria and thalassemia), she has dedicated her efforts to rally the private sector to join forces with blood program officials and academia to move blood safety to a new level within APEC. With 17 years in Life Sciences, including 12 years in commercial operations and 3 years in medical research, Mrs. Cooray also brings experience in project and team management. She served as the Associate Marketing Director for QIAGEN near Washington, DC, where among other projects, conducted focus groups with physicians and nurses, built relationships with healthcare leaders (including professional organizations such as ACOG, AMP, NPWH, APHL, …), providing cross-departmental support and counsel to QIAGEN on laboratory related policy issues such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Among many successes in her career, she has launched specific diagnostic products designed to improve Women’s Health for low income economies of which resulted sustainable partnerships, grant and technical assistance. Using health economics arguments and emerging technologies, Mrs. Cooray has been successful in obtaining the inclusion of cervical cancer screening within the Tricare Health Plan (US military Health Insurance) which has great public health importance to American women in the military. Mrs. Cooray graduated from University of Lyon, France with a major in Histology and Molecular Biology. In addition, she completed a degree in Business Management with a concentration in marketing from the University of Maryland, University College.

Brian Custer, PhD, MPH

Dr. Custer is an Associate Director and Senior Investigator in Epidemiology and Health Policy Research at Blood Systems Research Institute in San Francisco. He is also a Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He earned his MPH and PhD degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle. He is actively involved in several committees and working groups of AABB, a member of the Transfusion-Transmitted Infectious Diseases Working Party of ISBT, and an Associate Scientific Member of the Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion (BEST) Collaborative. He also serves on the US Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability. He conducts research on the epidemiology and health economics of the blood supply and transfusion medicine policy throughout the world, primarily focused on infectious diseases, donor health, and recipient outcomes. Dr. Custer is the Principal Investigator for the Laboratory and Risk Factor Coordinating Center of the US Transfusion-Transmissible Infection Monitoring System and the Brazil component of the NHLBI Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study (REDS-III). Dr. Custer is also a co-investigator for the UCSF/Blood Centers of the Pacific clinical site and the South Africa program in REDS-III.

Matt Delgado

Mr. Delgado joined ICCBBA, a non-governmental organization in official relations with the World Health Organization, in 2014 as the Global Development Manager. Currently he serves as the Global Development Director. Prior to joining ICCBBA, Delgado spent seven years at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, serving as a Clinical Stem Cell Therapy Technician, Clinical Stem Cell Therapy Specialist, and then Sr. Clinical Stem Cell Therapy Specialist. While at MDACC, Delgado became a Certified Quality Auditor (ASQ) and was a Subject Matter Expert/Assessor for HPC-C processing activities for the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks). Delgado is a graduate of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

John J. Donnelly, PhD

John received his PhD in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania and has more than 27 years’ experience in vaccine R&D including product registration, late stage development, early stage development, and vaccine discovery. He contributed to the development of licensed vaccines including Low-Dose PedvaxHib®, Comvax®, New Process Pneumovax®, Menjugate®, Menveo® and Bexsero®, and published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers.  Before joining Global Healing as President in 2015, he worked as Interim Director of the Vaccine Development Global Program at PATH, a leading NGO specializing in global health innovation. He also holds an MS degree in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College and is retired from the US Army Reserve, where he served for 30 years as a Medical Service Corps officer, with deployments to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. While in Saudia Arabia for operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM he served as Blood Program Officer for US Army Central Command.  His subsequent assignments included Chief of Staff, 2nd Medical Brigade, Commander, Western Medical Area Readiness Support Group, Deputy Commanding General, 807th Medical Command, and Deputy Commanding General, 3rd Medical Command.

Mabel Ekanem, MBBCH, FMCPath

Dr Mabel Ekanem is a Nigerian. A Medical doctor by profession. Holds the MBBCH degree from University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria and is also holds FMCPath as a Fellow of the National post Graduate Medical College of Nigeria, Faculty of Pathology. Works as Honorary Senior Consultant Haematologist in the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion of University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) and as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Haematology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo, South-south, Nigeria. She is the Head of Department of Haematology, UUTH/University of Uyo, Uyo. She is also a member of senate, University of Uyo. Mabel has over 14 academic publications to her credit. She is a widely travelled woman and has attended many National and International conferences. Dr. Ekanem attended International Blood Safety Forum (IBSF) annual meeting and ABC conference in Washington DC in 2013. In 2014, she also attended the AABB annual meeting in Philadelphia. Dr. Ekanem also has attended professional transfusion medicine training programs at BloodSource and UC-Davies in California and at Northern California Community Blood Bank in Eureka, sponsored by Global Healing. She is a Rotarian of Rotary Club of Uyo, District 9140 and the immediate past club president.

Lori Gabrek

Lori Gabrek is a healthcare executive who has spent over 25 years building and growing commercial organizations. Her experience includes 20 years of increasingly complex roles at Roche Diagnostics where she led sales and marketing teams serving as the Vice President of the Point of Care Division.  Interested in a broader business role, Lori joined Beckman Coulter, Inc, and served as the General Manager for the $400M life Sciences Business Unit. In this role, Lori was responsible for creating and growing a newly formed Center ol Excellence in Indianapolis,IN. Curious about the opportunity to grow a smaller organization, Lori moved to Helmer Scientific, and currently is the VP  of Global Sales and Marketing.  Helmer is a privately held medical device manufacturer that sells and markets in  over 100countries globally. Lori loves developing future leaders and served as a guest speaker and board member tor the Life Sciences Certification program at Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business. Lori is passionate about women’s health and served on the American Heart Association board in Indiana and currently participates as a board member for Global Healing. Lori is a Medical Technologist with a BS from Indiana University and a BS in Biology from Purdue University in Fort Wayne. She also spent a year in an executive leadership program at the London Business School.

Roberto Garza

Roberto holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in Monterrey, Mexico. Currently he is a candidate of MSc in Global Health from the University of Manchester, UK. Graduate from the Global Health Intensive Summer Program from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  Previous International Consultant for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, providing support to blood donation programs in Latin America and The Caribbean, based in Panama. Former National Head, Blood Collection and Promotion at the National Blood Transfusion Center of Mexico. Currently, he serves as an International Consultant in Blood Services and Transplants, Medicines and Health Technologies Unit, Health Systems and Services Department in PAHO.  He co-founded Circula Vida, NGO that promotes the culture of voluntary blood donations in Northern Mexico. Founder of #Blood4All, global initiative to promote collective voluntary blood donations in December to prevent seasonal blood shortages, which took place in 30 citites in 14 countries. Member of international networks: One Young World Ambassador, and Global Shaper from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Christa Gouws

Christa Gouws comes from a small community with humble beginnings on a farm called “Noriseep” adjacent to the Orange River close to Pofadder in the North West Cape Region of South Africa. She commenced her studies at the University of Pretoria and completed her B.Comm (Economics and Finance) at Unisa while residing at Windhoek, Namibia.  Although her qualifications are in finance and economics, her vast expertise lies in the operational development and management of a relatively small, yet modest, blood service operating at exceptionally high levels. Just before the Namibian independence in 1990, Christa took up the challenge to take over the running of the country’s only Blood Service. The role of managing the finances quickly escalated and evolved into the day to day “hands on” operational management of NAMBTS. The continuous demand for blood created rapid growth and expansion for the Blood Service in Namibia. Passionate about blood donation and about providing safe, sufficient blood to all Namibians, Christa has played a vital role in the growth of this small developing country’s blood service. During her 27 years of service, NMBTS has grown from a modest approx. 13,00 units to 34,000 units collected in 2016. Exposure over the past 27 years has included PEPFAR participation and funding from 2004 to 2015 and embarking on the introduction and implementation of NAT testing in Namibia. The challenge at all times is to be actively involved with the running and expansion of a blood service with limited resources – while maintaining the highest level of standard possible.

Jerry A. Holmberg PhD, MS (CLS),MT(ASCP)SBB

Dr. Jerry Holmberg is the Director, Scientific Development at Grifols Diagnostic Solutions Inc. (GDS). Prior to this position he oversaw global medical affair in GDS’ core business of blood safety through nucleic acid technology and blood group genomics. He has more than 30 years’ experience in all areas of laboratory medicine with a concentration on blood bank operations, research, education, and policy. He is the author of numerous publications, including book chapters. His personal vision has developed based on over 30 years of professional experience in the field. That vision, based on his core value, has been dedicated to improvement of blood safety in both the developed and the developing world through various strategies including understanding problems, bringing key stakeholders together to solve those problems, and identification of resources.  Those stakeholders have includes professional communities, patient communities, industry, and ministries of government. Dr. Holmberg served twenty years in the U.S. Navy, achieving the rank of Commander. During his military career he held various positions directing blood banks, blood donor centers, frozen blood bank depots, blood bank computer systems and policy development within the Navy Blood Program. Upon leaving the military Dr. Holmberg held positions at Haemonetics Corporation involving medical devices for blood collection and cell processing of frozen blood within a closed system for extended storage. For over eight years, Dr. Holmberg served the U.S. again in public health at the Federal level. He served two political administrations as the Senior Advisor for Blood Policy and the Executive Secretary for the Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability for the U. S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) . During his tenure, he led the Department to review various policies related to men who have had sex with other men (MSM), pathogen reduction technology, Hepatitis Action Plan, Biovigilance, blood inventory management and disaster planning. His concern and dedication to serve the underserved has motivated him to actively participate in the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  Eliminating the risk of transfusion transmitted diseases, especially HIV, in the blood supply has been a personal goal.  He has traveled to many developing countries in Africa, South America, Central Asian Republics and Asia Pacific to provide technical assistance in blood safety and availability.  In 2014 Dr. Holmberg was awarded the Department of Defense, Armed Services Blood Program’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his scientific, combat medical operation, and transfusion practices contributions.  He also has been the recipient of the AABB President’s Award (2009) for his activities in Biovigilance.  Dr. Holmberg received his BS in Biology from Saginaw Valley State College, his clinical laboratory internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Saginaw, MI, and MS in the Department of Pathology, Clinical Laboratory Science from Michigan State University.  He completed a Fellowship in Blood Bank at Walter Reed Army Medical Center which led to certification as a blood bank specialist.  Following his Fellowship, he obtained A PhD in Biological Sciences from Bowling Green State University (Ohio) with an emphasis in immunohematology.  He holds specialist certifications in medical technology, blood banking, and quality assurance.

Daniel Kimani, MD, MPH

Dr. Daniel Kimani is a medical doctor from Kenya specialized in public health and HIV management. He works with the Division of Global HIV and TB at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based in Nairobi. He is a technical advisor in Blood Safety and Infection control where he provides support to Kenya’s ministry of health. For the last eight years, Dr Kimani has worked closely with the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) along other partners to ensure there is a safe and adequate blood supply for the country. This support has been in the context of HIV prevention through the President’s emergency plan for AIDS relief (PEPFAR). The support has included infrastructure development, equipment, blood donor mobilization, quality testing and processing of blood and blood components, distribution and appropriate utilization. In the last four years the support has narrowed down to strengthening quality management systems, information systems and utilization of data to improve on blood safety programming. Kenya has been implementing a stepwise system to improve laboratory quality towards accreditation through the strengthening laboratory management towards accreditation (SLMTA) framework. Dr Kimani has used this process to improve quality systems within the national blood service in Kenya in preparation of a blood service accreditation system. Dr. Kimani has presented several abstracts in local and international conferences and published in peer reviewed journals. He is also a member of several national technical working groups and committees. He also supports other HIV prevention and treatment services.

James MacPherson, MS

Jim MacPherson has been in the blood and cell therapy field since 1971. He currently is President and CEO of MacPherson Strategies LLC, an executive a healthcare, blood and cell therapy consulting firm specializing in executive services, as well as organizational and strategic initiatives research, development and implementation. He also is a volunteer and Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Global Healing. From June 1986 to March 2013 Jim was CEO of America’s Blood Centers, the North American alliance of community and regional blood centers that provide over half of the U.S. and one-quarter of Canada’s volunteer donor blood supply. Under Jim’s leadership, ABC’s membership more than tripled in size; it developed and spun off a group purchasing organization (GSABC) with annual sales of over $400 million; it founded a healthcare liability insurance company (BCx) used by over 40 blood centers; and it started a charitable foundation that has provided over $6 million to support blood donation awareness. Previously, Jim was the director of hemapheresis, regulatory affairs and operations research for the American Red Cross Blood Services headquarters in Washington, DC. Before that he directed the research and cell therapy support unit at the Rochester, New York Red Cross blood center, where he was also an Associate Professor of Hematology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Jim received masters degrees in cellular physiology from George Washington University and in pathophysiology from the State University of New York, Roswell Park Division. He has written and presented hundreds of papers in transfusion medicine, and authored and edited several books in the field. In addition to his professional work, he has three children, is an elder with his Quaker meeting, served on the board of directors for Sandy Spring Friends School, and resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife, Jeanne.

Murat Merdal

Murat Merdal is the Managing Director for Abbott Transfusion Medicine Business Unit, covering Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, and Pakistan. He was appointed to this role in January 2014 and is located in Wiesbaden, Germany. Murat joined Abbott in 1995 and held a number of Sales, Service, Marketing and Management positions of increasing responsibility.  In 2010, he was appointed as Commercial Director for Area Africa, Middle East, Turkey, and India. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.  

Nina Mufti, PhD

Dr. Mufti has been an employee of Cerus for almost 10 years.  Her focus has been to lead development programs for the INTERCEPT Blood System. Her primary focus has been the development of the INTERCEPT System for Red Blood Cells and application of this technology to whole blood pathogen inactivation to provide safer blood products in developing countries together with a collaboration with the Swiss Transfusion Service.   Dr. Mufti is involved in guiding the product development strategy for all INTERCEPT platforms (Platelets, Plasma and RBC) to support global product registrations. She oversees the product development efforts with blood center collaborators, manufacturing partners, external suppliers and corporate partners.  Dr. Mufti obtained her Bachelors degrees in Science (Biochemistry) and Applied Science (Chemical Engineering) from the University of Ottawa and her PhD in Biochemical Engineering from Cornell University. Prior to joining Cerus, Dr. Mufti worked in the development, registration and manufacturing of drug-device combination products.

Alexandra Nielsen

Alexandra Nielsen is pursuing a PhD in Systems Science at Portland State University. Alexandra specializes in computer modeling and simulation methodologies including agent-based simulation, system dynamics modeling, discrete event simulation, data envelopment analysis, and optimization techniques. Her research interests include policy analysis regarding substance abuse, substance abuse treatment services, alcohol use behaviors, blood center market analysis, and renewable energy integration. Alexandra is passionate about interdisciplinary research which brings together methodologists and diverse groups of researchers, advocates, and stakeholders to build shared understanding of complex social and technical systems to promote health and wellbeing.

Nathan Nielsen, MD, Msc

Dr. Nielsen received his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine in 2004, and his M.Sc. From the London School of Tropical Medicine in 2002.  He completed his Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine training at the Oregon Health and Science University, and later, his Transfusion Medicine Fellowship at the Harvard Joint Program in Transfusion Medicine.  He is presently a member of the Pulmonary and Critical Care faculty at the Tulane School of Medicine, and is Co-Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at the University Medical Center in New Orleans.  He is an active researcher in the effects of blood product transfusion in the critically ill and in hemorrhage management, and has lectured across the United States and in Europe on these topics.

John Pitman, PhD

John Pitman is an epidemiologist specializing in blood safety.  He currently works as a medical science liaison with the Cerus Corporation, providing blood safety education to clinicians and serving as a conduit for further research and education specific to pathogen reduced blood products.  From 2005-2016 he worked on global health programs with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 10 years as a researcher and project leader with the blood safety team in the Division of Global HIV/AIDS. He has contributed to more than 20 journal articles on blood  safety and blood banking issues related to developing countries, and holds a Ph D in blood bank epidemiology from the University of  Groningen in the Netherlands.  Prior to joining CDC, John worked as a journalist for more than a decade, mostly as an anchor and correspondent for the Voice of America.  John also holds master’s degrees in epidemiology from Yale University and journalism from Columbia University, and previously held national certification as an Emergency Medical Technician. He lives in Atlanta, GA.

Ravi Reddy, MBA

Ravi Reddy has worked for the Blood Transfusion Services in South Africa for 31 years. He is currently the Chief Operations Officer of South African National Blood Service (SANBS). His current responsibilities are to direct all aspects related to the Collection, Processing, Testing and Issue of approximately 816 000 units of blood in SANBS as well as developing and implementing strategic initiatives to improve blood supply and safety.

Some key achievements within the Blood Services in South Africa include:

  1. Playing a key role in the merger of the 7 independent Blood Services to form the South African National Blood Service
  2. Implementing various strategies in Blood Collection, Processing, Testing and Blood Banks to rationalize processes and laboratories and improve efficiencies across the value chain to ensure a safe and sustainable blood supply
  3. Managing the motivation for and implementation of individual donation nucleic acid testing in SANBS in 2005 further improving blood safety in a country with high disease burden

He is a member of the WHO expert committee on Blood Safety and biological standards. He is currently President of ISBT from 2016 to 2018. He is also a non-executive Board member of the African Society for Blood Transfusion (AfSBT). He is co-author of approximately 30 scientific publications in international journals and has presented numerous posters and papers at International and National Congresses.

Dejana Selenic

Dr. Dejana Selenic currently serves as Medical Epidemiologist in the Center for Disease Control’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS and TB.  She provides technical expertise on projects and issues related to blood safety.

Zbigniew “Ziggy” M. Szczepiorkowski, MD, PhD, FCAP

Zbigniew (Ziggy) M. Szczepiorkowski, MD, PhD, FCAP, is currently an associate professor of pathology and of medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth as well as section chief of laboratory medicine, medical director of the Transfusion Medicine Service, director of the Center for Transfusion Medicine Research, and director of the Cellular Therapy Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. He also is an investigator at Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center) and a consultant in pathology services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston as well as a visiting professor in Institute of Hematology and Transfusion Medicine, Warsaw, Poland. Szczepiorkowski has served in many leadership capacities with related organizations and professional societies. He is president of AABB, past president of the American Society for Apheresis, a co-leader of the Cellular Therapy Team of the BEST Collaborative, a past treasurer of the World Apheresis Association and a past member of the board of directors of the National Marrow Donor Program. He also has served on multiple NIH review panels as well as various committees of AABB, ASFA, CAP, ISBT, FACT, ICCBBA Inc, CIBTMR and NMDP. He has more than 95 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of laboratory medicine, cellular therapy, apheresis and transfusion medicine. He serves as editor of the Journal of Clinical Apheresis and Vox Sanguinis. His current research includes studies of adaptive immunotherapy in cancer, the clinical use of apheresis and cellular therapy products. A graduate of the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland, Szczepiorkowski was an intern in Mokotowski Hospital in Warsaw, then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He obtained his doctorate in medicine at the Medical Center for Postgraduate Education in Warsaw. He was a resident and chief resident in clinical pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also was a Grove-Rasmussen transfusion medicine fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Jeroen Van den Bossche

Dr. Van den Bossche is a Global Product Manager – Blood Safety at Terumo BCT.  He focuses on the continued development and commercialization of the Mirasol Pathogen Reduction System for Whole Blood, which was launched in 2016, and of Terumo BCT’s freeze dried plasma program. He has been investigating commercialization pathways for blood safety solutions in low and middle income nations. Previously, he has held functions in global marketing, as well as in product support for blood safety at Terumo BCT. Jeroen holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Purdue University (West Lafayette, US) and has conducted postdoctoral research in nanomedicine at the School of Pharmacy (now UCL, London, UK). His academic focus lay on triggering and targeting approaches to achieve improved drug delivery of chemotherapeutic agents. He has completed various management programs at the Vlerick Business School (Gent, Belgium) and at the Krannert School of Management (Purdue University, USA). He is a Belgian national.

Peter J.K. Zacharias, DSc, MGSSA

PeteZac is a dedicated professional Grassland Scientist and previous Professor, Dean and Deputy Vice-Chancellor with years of experience developing and implementing educational systems, strategies, processes and controls that significantly improve Agriculture, Engineering and Science scenarios. Expert in establishing various functions, systems and best practices; cost-reduction, automation and lasting business relationships to surpass goals for fiscal performance in higher education in Agriculture, Engineering & Science. Since 2010 he has led developments in Africa for SBFA, applying these broad skills. He has produced >30 peer-reviewed journal articles, 17 books and chapters, 10 peer-reviewed invited congress presentations and 7 publications and 3 invited reviews presenting at over 70 conferences around the world across many fields including Blood Safety. A keen birder, his volunteerism includes human capital development for biodiversity, conservation management and as an Honorary Ranger SANParks, South Africa.

For more information, please contact John Donnelly: You can also click the image below for a downloadable .pdf version.


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