FACT continues to ramp up efforts to globalize transplant and cellular therapy via education, inspector recruitment, and funding initiatives. We have continued our “world tour” of events these past couple of months in Minneapolis and Paris and we are looking forward to our next stops in Miami Beach, Houston, Puebla, and Perth. We have of course continued to hold events in “Virtual Land” to ensure access for all!! Bolstering the strength of our workforce is critical as demand for our services grows geographically and more cell and gene therapies/approaches are being commercialized. Therefore, please encourage and support the attendance of personnel at your programs to attend these educational opportunities and those offered by ASTCT and ISCT that are described in this newsletter.
This newsletter also lists two opportunities where we need your critical contributions and input. One such opportunity is to submit your feedback during the public comment period for the draft eighth edition of the NetCord-FACT Cord Blood Banking Standards. The other opportunity is the WBMT Global CAR-T and Cell Therapy survey to inform the World Health Organization (WHO). I thank you in advance for your engagement in the international cell therapy community.
Finally, the global nature of this newsletter is a fitting environment in which, on a sadder note, to mourn the loss of a dear friend and colleague, Ian K. McNiece, PhD. An Australian by birth, Ian was an internationally renowned leader within the cell therapy community and a strong force at FACT where he served as a Board member, an inspector, and as the Chair of the Regenerative Medicine Task Force, among his many other roles. Ian was also a beloved family member and friend as described by Dr. Richard J. Jones in a poignant article included in this newsletter. Please join me in sending Ian’s wife, Peggy, our sincerest condolences.
Catherine M. Bollard, MD