Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Schwartz, FACT Board Member and the recipient of the ASFA Presidential Award! The Presidential Award of the American Society for Apheresis is bestowed upon a member of the Society who has consistently made major contributions to, and performed outstanding service for, the Society over a number of years.
Dr. Schwartz’s contributions to ASFA have been numerous. Holding many Officer positions, including as a past President, he advocated for ASFA representation in many other professional societies and multistakeholder groups. His support for ASFA members included the establishment of a members’ session during ASFA Annual Meetings, implementation of small interest groups, and growth of membership to more than 1,000 people.
Dr. Schwartz has been a FACT inspector since 2006. Since that time, he has served on numerous FACT committees, including as Chair of the Standards and Information Technology committees. Dr. Schwartz is also a member of the FACT Accreditation, Education, and Professional Relations Committees. He has been a FACT Board member since 2016.
His leadership also extends to many other organizations as a Board member, committee leader, and reviewer. He has been awarded the DeGowin Award & Lectureship in Blood Banking, the Joseph S. Fink Laboratory Medicine Faculty Teaching award, the AABB Hemphill-Jordan Leadership Award, and the honor of Elected Member of The Virginia Apgar Academy of Medical Educators and the Academy of Clinical Excellence at Columbia University, Vagleos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
FACT thanks Dr. Schwartz for his servant leadership, and for his extraordinary work in representing apheresis professionals in the growing fields of transplantation and cellular therapy.
The International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) announced the recipients of its 2021 achievement awards. Congratulations to Drs. Catherine Bollard and Donald Kohn!
Dr. Bollard, FACT’s President and long-time FACT inspector and committee volunteer, will be the first recipient of the Darwin J. Prockop Mentoring Award. This award recognizes, “an outstanding individual who has excelled as a mentor and has contributed to the ongoing development of their mentees in the field of cell and gene therapy.” The ISCT website quotes fellow FACT Board Member Patrick Hanley’s account of Dr. Bollard’s mentorship: “Cath’s impact on the field of cellular therapy and the practice of medicine is no longer restricted to her own success, but is now emanating in seeds she has planted and nurtured in the over 93 individuals she has mentored, including 22 junior faculty, 27 post doctoral fellows, and 12 graduate students. Dr. Bollard acts as a mentor to other senior investigators at CNH as well, particularly those in the Bone Marrow Transplantation division. Cath is the most deserving mentor for this award.”
Dr. Kohn, a member of FACT’s Genetically-Modified HPC Subcommittee, will receive the 2021 ISCT Career Achievement Award. Dr. Kohn is a leader in research in gene therapy, and was instrumental in evaluating FACT Standards in the context of genetically modified cells and recommending additions to maintain the Standards’ relevance as these cells expand further into the clinic. Dr. Jan Nolta described to ISCT the most important contribution he has made, which has been to improve the lives of children: “Prof. Kohn developed the first successful hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy, for children with ‘bubble baby disease’- ADA deficiency – and has now functionally cured over 50 children.”
The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) presented several awards during the 2021 TCT Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR Digital Experience. Several of the recipients are contributors to FACT as past or current inspectors, committee members, or Board members. Congratulations to all of these recipients, and thank you for your commitment to quality cellular therapy and patient care!
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Hal Broxmeyer, PhD.
- Public Service Award: Anthony S. Fauci, MD
- E. Donnall Thomas Lecture: Elizabeth J. Shpall, MD
- ASTCT 2021 Fellows: Navneet Majhail, MD, MS; John DiPersio, MD, PhD; Krishna Komanduri, MD; Christopher Bredeson, MD, MSc; Effie W. Petersdorf, MD; Sergio A. Giralt, MD; C. Fred LeMaistre, MD; Elizabeth J. Shpall, MD; Daniel J. Weisdorf, MD; A. John Barrett, MD; Claudio Anasetti, MD; Helen E. Heslop, MD; Robert Soiffer, MD; Robert Negrin, MD; Nelson J. Chao, MD, PhD; John R. Wingard, MD; James O. Armitage, MD, FACP, FRCP, FASCO, FAAAS; Allen Eaves, OBC MD PhD FRCPC; Karen H. Antman, MD
- BBMT Editorial Recipients: Pooja Khandelwal, MD; Amy E. DeZern, MD
- New Investigator Recipients: Hana Andrlova, MD; Joshua Brandstadter, MD, PhD; Sabrina Copsel, PhD; Eiko Hayase, MD, PhD; Nasheed Hossain, MD; Sherly Mardiana, PhD
Congratulations are in order for two dedicated FACT leaders! Dr. Helen Heslop and Dr. Elizabeth Shpall will be presenting honorary lectures at the 2021 TCT Meetings Digital Experience.
Helen Heslop, MD, past FACT President and current Chair of the FACT Immune Effector Cell Task Force, will be presenting the Mortimer M. Bortin Lecture on Friday, February 12, 2021 from 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM CT. Her lecture is titled, T Cell Immunotherapy via Native and Chimeric Receptors. Read Dr. Heslop’s full bio for details on her prolific research activities and contributions to several professional societies.
Elizabeth Shpall, MD, the first FACT President and current Board member, will present the E. Donnall Thomas Lecture on Friday, February 12, 2021 from 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM CT, with her lecture titled, Cord Blood: Forerunners and New Horizons. Dr. Shpall’s full bio outlines numerous awards for her important translational work.
FACT’s Board of Directors honored Dr. Mark Litzow for his contributions to our organization. Dr. Litzow most recently served on the FACT Board from 2011 – 2019. As a FACT Inspector, Dr. Litzow has performed 30 clinical inspections over the last 20 years!
Mark was appointed as the inaugural chair for FACT’s Technology Committee and served since 2009 – 2019. Dr. Litzow’s charge as Chair of the Technology Committee was to enhance, refine, streamline and improve the efficiency of the accreditation process and educational programs through the continued development of FACT’s online presence. Mark has survived the development of two accreditation portals!
Through Dr. Litzow’s leadership, the Technology Committee:
- Launched the first FACTWeb Portal automating the accreditation process.
- Launched the new FACT Accreditation Portal to replace FACTWeb and better position FACT for long term success.
- Evaluated features to enhance the user’s accreditation portal experience including an improved document library experience and the addition of an inspector trainee feature within the portal allowing trainees to get firsthand experience within the portal.
- Developed online training materials for accreditation portal users.
- Improved the online accreditation application including the Eligibility and Compliance application.
- Continued to provide training for users of the accreditation portal.
Mark your contributions have been invaluable and you have certainly left us as a stronger organization. You will be greatly missed!
Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy Dr. Helen Heslop was recently recognized with the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Lifetime Achievement Award at the Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.
The ASBMT Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually and recognizes an individual who has made continuing contributions to the field of blood and marrow transplantation.
Dr. Heslop is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital. She serves on the FACT Cellular Therapy Accreditation Committee, the Immune Effector Cellular Therapy Task Force, and various other FACT committees. Dr. Heslop is a member of the FACT Board of Directors, and served as the President of FACT from 2012 to 2016.
During its 2018 Annual Meeting in Montréal, the International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT) bestowed the Career Achievement Award in Cellular Therapy to Nancy H. Collins, PhD. Recipients of this award are individuals who have made a significant impact during a career devoted to advancing the field of cellular therapy.
In a tribute to Dr. Collins in the ISCT Telegraft, Carolyn A. Keever-Taylor, PhD, wrote, “Nancy is well-suited for this award as illustrated by her many contributions to the field of cellular therapy, from the early days of bone marrow transplantation where she literally defined the role of Laboratory Facility Director, through to the present.” Dr. Taylor described Dr. Collins’s role in founding FACT, “Nancy played a major role in the creation of FACT, which was jointly founded by ISCT and ASBMT to be an independent body that would complete development of laboratory and clinical standards. Here too she was a founding member of the FACT Board of Directors. Nancy was instrumental in recruiting individuals from other cell processing laboratories to be actively involved in these efforts.”
FACT is incredibly grateful to Dr. Collins for the guidance, leadership, and friendship she has generously provided to inspectors, committees, and staff. The following is a list of Dr. Collins’s impressive contributions to the organization:
- Founding member of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (1995)
- Board of Directors (1996-2009), 14 years
- Inspector (1996-2015), 19 years
- Cellular therapy laboratory inspector, 19 years
- FACT-NetCord cord blood bank laboratory inspector, 16 years
- More than minimal manipulation inspector, 3 years
- Standards Development (2000-2011), 11 years
- Cellular Therapy and Cord Blood Standards committees, served as member or co-chair
- Overall chair of the 4th edition of both Cellular Therapy and Cord Blood Standards
- FACT Inspector and Facility Training Workshop presenter (multiple)
- FACT Cellular Therapy Accreditation Committee (1995-2015)
- FACT Cord Blood Accreditation Committee (2006-2015)
- FACT Quality Management Committee and Quality Handbook Committee (2008-present)
- FACT representative to multi-institutional Circular of Information for the Use of Cellular Therapy Products Committee (2007-2014)
- Consultant, FACT Consulting Services (2015-present)
Congratulations, Nancy, on this well-deserved honor!
During its meeting at the ASH Annual Meeting in December 2016, the FACT Board of Directors honored Carolyn Taylor, PhD, for her many years of service and wished her congratulations on her upcoming retirement.
Dr. Taylor served as a Board member for 8 years, including 4 years as Vice-President. Her many other contributions to FACT include:
- Standards Committee Chair from 2010-2013 (also served as subcommittee co-chair and past-chair),
- Cellular Therapy and Cord Blood Accreditation Committee member,
- Regenerative Medicine Task Force member,
- FACTWeb Oversight Committee member,
- HLA Typing Accreditation Committee Chair,
- FACT representative for Worldwide Network for Blood & Marrow Transplantation (WBMT),
- Inspector (26 inspections performed), and
- Presenter/FACT representative at countless in-person and online events.
FACT and the cellular therapy community would not be what they are today without the time, expertise, and counsel Dr. Taylor selflessly gave to others. We wish her the fulfilling and enjoyable retirement that she deserves, and will appreciate the impact she had on our field for years to come.
At the 2016 BMT Tandem Meetings CIBMTR General Assembly, the founding FACT Board Members were honored with an awards ceremony.
The ceremony opened with a brief history of FACT. Outgoing FACT President, Dr. Helen Heslop, said that the process of drafting standards began in the early 1990s because it seemed likely that blood and marrow transplant laboratories were going to be subject to external accreditation. “ASBMT and ISCT were, at that time, very young professional organizations, but some prescient members of these societies recognized that it was important that transplant programs devise their own accreditation system and accredit themselves. ASBMT and ISCT served as parents for FACT, which was formed as a standard setting and accrediting organization.”
“The initial board of highly committed volunteers invested much of their own time to develop standards with the goal of improving transplant outcomes,” said Dr. Heslop. “They not only had to convince the transplant community that they wanted to be accredited, but that they were willing to pay for the process. Their success in doing this attests to their leadership skills and powers of persuasion.”
Dr. Phyllis Warkentin, founding FACT Board member and current Chief Medical Officer, summarized FACT’s accomplishments over the past two decades. “From the beginning, FACT’s success has depended upon the commitment of volunteer experts and their willingness to participate as peers to raise the quality across providers, to protect the research environment, and to advance the field. FACT has accredited over 270 organizations in 23 countries on five continents. We collaborated internationally with JACIE and NetCord to publish 6 editions of hematopoietic cell therapy standards and 5 editions of cord blood banking standards. In 2015, we published the first edition of Common Standards, applicable to all cellular therapies in all phases of discovery, research, and development.”
Dr. Warkentin continued, “FACT was founded at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Through the efforts of many, especially Dr. Jim Armitage, this affiliation has continued, and we thank the University for being our home institution for 20 years.”
“We honor the founding members of the FACT Board of Directors, whose vision created the premiere standards and accreditation body in cellular therapy. Each of these individuals came to FACT with his or her own motivation, energy, concerns, resources, and abilities; and each left a unique mark,” said Dr. Warkentin. “The common focus, however, remains raising the quality of care for our patients. Together, these 11 founders have served a total of 123 years as FACT Board members and officers, and each has also played a major role in leading accreditation planning and success at his or her own institution.”
Founding Board members were individually recognized and received a token of appreciation from incoming FACT President Dr. Dennis Gastineau and FACT Chief Executive Officer Linda Miller:
Elizabeth Shpall, MD: Founding Board President
Richard Champlin, MD: Founding Vice President
Adrian Gee, PhD: Founding Secretary
Allen Eaves, MD, PhD, FRCPC: Founding Treasurer
C. Fred LeMaistre, MD: Founding Board Member and Past President
Nancy Collins, PhD: Founding Board Member
Richard O’Reilly, MD: Founding Board Member
Scott Rowley, MD, FACP: Founding Board Member
Keith Sullivan, MD: Founding Board Member
William Vaughan, MD, FACP: Founding Board Member
Phyllis Warkentin, MD: Founding Board Member
Dr. Warkentin also recognized ASBMT as one of FACT’s founding parent societies, and outgoing ASBMT president Effie Petersdorf accepted the honor. Additionally, Alan Leahigh, former Executive Director of ASBMT and former Chief Executive Officer of FACT, and still friend and mentor to volunteers and staff of FACT, was recognized.
Dr. Warkentin closed the ceremony by saying, “Forty people have served as members of the FACT Board of Directors. This represents a significant contribution of time and talent to FACT, to our field, and to our patients. We have been entrusted with leadership positions, but each person has a unique story, and each has a unique role to play. All of us and all of you are important in the service to our patients.”