Two New Directors for Cord Blood Association

President Joanne Kurtzberg and other officers re-elected for coming year

Issued: November 8, 2021

The Cord Blood Association has two new directors, elected at the CBA Board of Directors annual meeting:
New CBA Directors

Karen Ballen, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Va., USA    

Filippo Milano, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle,
Wash., USA

The new directors were nominated from a field of 11 candidates recommended by members of the association earlier this year. They are succeeding two directors, Dr. John Wagner of the University of Minnesota and Dr. Haywood Brown of the University of South Florida, a CBA founding director.

Re-Elected Officers

The Board of Directors also re-elected the association’s officers for the coming year:

President – Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, director, Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, Durham, N.C., USA

Vice-President – Colleen Delaney, MD, MSc, founder and scientific director, Deverra Therapeutics, Seattle, Wash., USA

Secretary – Gesine Kögler, PhD, director, Jose Carreras Cord Blood Bank and GMP Facility, University of Duesseldorf Medical Center, Duesseldorf, Germany

Treasurer – David Blackett, MM, vice president of marketing and strategy, PerkinElmer ViaCord, Waltham, Mass., USA


Officers of the association are elected annually by the Board of Directors.

New Director Biographies

Dr. Ballen earned her medical degree at Dartmouth Medical School and completed post-doctoral training at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School before joining the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2017.

She has been a board member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. She is co-editor of the cord blood section of CBA’s official scientific journal, STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, and chairs the CBA Professional and Public Relations Committee.

Dr. Milano earned his medical degree and a PhD in hematology sciences at the University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy. He completed post-doctoral training at La Sapienza and the University of Washington where he currently is an associate professor in the Department of Oncology.    

His clinical investigations have centered on allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, with a particular focus on cord blood transplants. He is a member of the Cord Blood Advisory Group for the National Marrow Donor Program, and the steering committee of the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network.