My name is Jose Cancelas, MD, PhD, CABP. I am a professor and director/chairman of Hoxworth Blood Center and its Academic Dept. in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. I am a physician/scientist interested in advancing health care through the provision of, and innovative research in, blood and biotherapies. I am the medical director for two cellular therapy cores in Cincinnati, at Hoxworth Blood Center (an AABB-accredited facility) since 2004 and in the Translational Core Laboratories of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center since 2019.
During the years of 1984-1989, I was an undergraduate student who wanted to learn enzymology. That is when I was first introduced to patients with adenosine deaminase deficiency and other immunodeficiencies. Come the 1990s, I was a medical resident in hematology in a busy stem cell transplantation program and became interested in cell/gene modification. After my residency, during my PhD and postdoctoral fellowship training, I developed a translational program to purify and modify hematopoietic stem cell grafts. During my post-MD time, as a PhD graduate student, I had the great opportunity to become the principal investigator of a pilot clinical trial of purified hematopoietic stem cells in autologous transplantation, which opened my eyes to the fascinating world of translational cellular therapy research.
I became a member in 2002, while enrolled in a clinical postdoctoral fellowship at the Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati. I was fortunate enough to be funded by AABB’s Foundation and received a grant, as well as the prize for innovative research. Then, little by little, I was asked to participate in educational/research committees, and I am now a member of the AABB Board of Directors.
I have been a proponent of this certification for several years. I think the field is now mature enough to self-regulate through credentialing. The AABB CABP certification provides a level of assurance that professionals involved in the medical and/or laboratory processing of minimally and more-than-minimally manipulated products are up to date with their technological, biological and medical knowledge, ensuring a minimum level of quality of services is provided to patients in need.
A rigorous CABP process provides a way to highlight experience and expertise in biotherapies, which are highly marketable in the current job market. It also provides standardization of a common curriculum of knowledge to ensure that professionals entering the field have reached an adequate level of competence.
In general, GXP (GMP/GTP/GCP/GLP) professionals will benefit from obtaining this certificate.
Our group is expanding cleanroom space and is expected to develop and manufacture more innovative, manipulated immunotherapy products derived from blood cells.
Becoming a CABP is a mark of distinction, establishing that qualified professionals have demonstrated – through a certification exam – that they have the necessary knowledge to credibly practice in the field of biotherapies.