Hal Broxmeyer to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

The leadership of the Cord Blood Association is delighted to announce that Hal E. Broxmeyer, PhD, will be the recipient of the association’s 2019, and second, Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award will be presented to Dr. Broxmeyer at the Cord Blood Connect international congress, Sept. 13-15 in Miami Beach. He will also give the keynote address at the congress.

Hal Broxmeyer

Dr. Broxmeyer is internationally recognized for his pioneering studies of human umbilical cord blood as a source of transplantable hematopoietic stem cells. Work in his laboratory at the Indiana University School of Medicine has been instrumental in establishing the field of clinical cord blood transplantation.

In 1983, he and his team at the university were the first to suggest that umbilical cord blood could serve as a source of hematopoietic stem cells for transplant. In the early to mid 1980s, he performed and published extensive preclinical studies demonstrating that human umbilical cord blood was enriched for hematopoietic stem cells. He then coordinated a team of scientists and clinicians to collect and bank cord blood from siblings of patients with life-threatening blood disorders treatable with transplantation. This led, in October 1988, to the successful transplantation of a five-year-old boy with Fanconi anemia, a rare and serious inherited blood disorder that leads to bone marrow failure, with his healthy, HLA-matched baby sister’s cord blood.

Dr. Broxmeyer worked with teams in New York, Durham, N.C., and in Paris, France, to execute the first transplant. Dr. Broxmeyer stored and transported the donor cord blood that was collected during the birth of the patient’s sister. The transplant was performed by Dr. Eliane Gluckman, at the Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris. The patient is alive and well today, more than 30 years after the transplant. That patient’s U.S. physician was Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, who in 1993 performed the world’s first unrelated cord blood transplant.

In 1989, Dr. Broxmeyer published a landmark paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrating that cord blood has similar attributes to bone marrow, and could be an alternative stem cell source for transplantation.

Dr. Broxmeyer has been a central figure during the maturation of cord blood banking and cord blood therapies. He has written or co-authored more than 790 papers and review articles pertaining to the science and mechanisms of blood cell regulation and of cord blood stem cells. He continues to study means to make cord blood transplantation a more efficacious clinical procedure through mechanistically based experimental research.

He is the Distinguished Professor, Mary Margaret Walther Professor Emeritus, and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology (Full-Time) at the Indiana University School of Medicine. In 2010 he was president of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world’s largest professional society that addresses the causes of and remedies for blood disorders, and in 1991 he was president of the International Society for Experimental Hematology and Stem Cell Research (ISEH). He has been continuously peer-reviewed funded for his research studies since 1976, and by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1978. He was a recipient of a MERIT Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the 1990s, and was recently awarded an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the NIH (2018-2025).