Dr. Elie Katz, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Community Blood Services (CBS) has renamed one of its most important programs after Dr. Elie Katz, a trailblazer in advocating the collection of umbilical cord blood for use in the treatment of various life-threatening diseases and the founder of the New Jersey HLA Registry.
During a reception held on September 7, 2001 Dr. Dennis Todd, president and CEO of the blood center, read from a board of trustees resolution that stated, "In recognition of the long-standing commitment of Elie Katz, Ph.D., D. Sc. to the worldwide transplant program...the Board of Trustees hereby authorizes the blood center's cord blood program to be renamed the Elie Katz Umbilical Cord Blood Program."
Members of the medical and corporate communities, hospitals, government, and local organizations attended the reception.
Dr. Todd called Elie Katz a "visionary." He noted that Dr. Katz was instrumental in the development and growth of the blood center's umbilical cord blood program.
"He was among the first to advocate for the collection and preservation of umbilical cord blood to help people undergoing aggressive cancer treatment, " said Dr. Todd.
Umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells, which are often damaged or destroyed during chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Stem cells from umbilical cord blood, if harvested, can be transplanted into patients, giving their bodies the opportunity to replenish the lost or damaged cells.
During his remarks, Dr. Arnold Rubin, chairman of Community Blood Services' Board of Trustees, said Dr. Katz is a man who will not take "no" for an answer.
"He gave up everything to find a bone marrow donor for his son," said Dr. Rubin. "He found out what it takes to find a donor and then created a registry to make it easier for cancer patients to do the same."
Dr. Rubin noted that in the past it was difficult to find matching bone marrow donors. "Thanks to Elie Katz, today that is no longer the case," he added.
Senator Louis F. Kosco presented Dr. Katz, who was accompanied by his wife Monique, his son Jerome, and daughter-in-law Lauren, with a proclamation from the New Jersey Legislature. In addition, Dr. Katz received numerous congratulatory letters from area corporations and organizations, such as the National Bone Marrow Program.
In 1986, Dr. Katz founded the HLA Registry, the first voluntary donor center in the United States. Today the HLA Registry is the largest voluntary bone marrow registry in the country with 187,000 donors. The registry is also affiliated with the National Marrow Donor Program, which includes 4.5 million voluntary donors, and Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide, with 6.5 million voluntary donors.
Dr. Katz is also the president of The National HLA Fund, Inc., a foundation that helps uninsured patients in need of bone marrow transplants.
 
Elie Katz, Ph.D., D.Sc. and Zbigniew Roger Mrowiec, Ph.D. recently dedicated the new Elie Katz Umbilical Cord Blood Program at Community Blood Services with a bronze plaque in Dr. Katz' honor.
The Elie Katz cocktail reception for the The Elie Katz Umbilical Cord Blood Program was held at the Sheraton Crossroads in Mahwah, NJ.Fri., Sept. 7 from 5:30-7:30 pm