Nicholas Greco, PhD, to lead the Upstate Cord Blood Bank

Nicholas Greco, PhD, was recently named executive director and Tissue Bank director for the Upstate Cord Blood Bank.

Currently under construction at the Community Campus, the $15 million facility will collect, process and store umbilical cord blood donated by families throughout central and northern New York to be used by those in need of life-saving medical treatments and for medical research.

Greco helped develop the Cleveland Cord Blood Center in 2007 and served as the director of Laboratory Operations and Processing Facility. There, he also helped secure National Marrow Donor Program membership and a Health Resources Services Administration contract in addition to Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy accreditation.

Upon opening, Upstate Cord Blood Bank will be one of only two public cord banks in New York. As a public blood bank, there is no cost to donate and donated cord blood is available to anyone who needs it.

“The Upstate Cord Blood Bank will seek to provide a cure for more than 35,000 American children and adults with life threatening illnesses each year who find themselves in need of a stem cell transplant,” said Greco. “The facility will promote public awareness of the potential current benefits of public cord blood banking in blood-related cancer treatment and promote research into emerging uses of cord blood in the areas of regenerative medicine.”

Cord blood is an important source of human stem cells and is used in about 25 percent of all stem cell transplants. Through the donations of cord blood from families all across our region, Upstate will have the ability to save lives through transplantation and further fuel biomedical research that may lead to the discovery of breakthroughs for dozens of diseases.

“Limited research will be completed at the Cord Blood Bank but strategic relations will be established between non-profit research institutions and for-profit companies,” said Greco. “Interactions with regional nursing schools, medical technology programs, and fellowship programs will further the foundation of specialized education as cord blood use is expanded to treat many disease indications.”

The Upstate Cord Blood Bank is expected to open summer 2015 and will be staffed by a team of approximately 15 highly-trained laboratory and director-level staff. The building’s design, construction work and equipment is made possible by a $15 million state grant obtained by Senator John DeFrancisco.

Upstate staff and faculty are invited to attend the reception for Greco on Tuesday, April 15 at 2 p.m. in room 6717 at the Downtown Campus.

Caption: Nicholas Greco, PhD, visits the construction site of the upcoming Upstate Cord Blood Bank. Greco has been named executive director and Tissue Bank director for the facility.

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