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
a reception held on September 7, 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
of the medical and corporate communities, hospitals, government,
and local organizations attended the reception.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
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
Katz is also the president of The National HLA Fund, Inc., a
foundation that helps uninsured patients in need of bone marrow