My name is Suzie Thibodeaux, and I am an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. I am the medical and laboratory director of the Clinical Cellular Therapy Laboratory at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and recently became the medical director of apheresis there as well.
As soon as I learned that biotherapies existed, I knew I wanted to be a part of that world. I have always been fascinated by how cells of the immune system keep us alive and thriving against the unending deluge of foreign organisms and mutated cells. Contributing to providing safe, effective biotherapies to patients continues to bring me joy as I have continued on my career in blood and biotherapies.
I first got involved in AABB when I joined as a member as soon as I decided I would pursue a career in blood and biotherapies. My first real interaction with AABB was in the form of the professional engagement program, suggested by one of my mentors in transfusion medicine, and I participated in the mentorship program as a mentee. I still share today how formative that experience was and still is, since my mentors then are very much still my mentors now!
I think it is important to be able to show in concrete ways that one possesses the skills and knowledge to excel in their role. The CABP certification is a way to communicate that foundational knowledge via a shared language in the form of that designation.
I am very passionate about ensuring those who participate in clinical cellular therapy that is administered to patients be competent and confident in their abilities.
The CABP program can help address some of the current challenges in a few ways. It offers a clear path to show that foundational knowledge in biotherapies has been acquired and can be applied to current practices. It provides a common mechanism by which professionals in the field can communicate that they have achieved a certain level of knowledge.
I would encourage all professionals who work in the biotherapy realm, directly or indirectly, to consider working towards the certification. Anyone who is connected to biotherapies stands to benefit.
I am very excited to continue to do my part to advance biotherapies by way of inquiry with respect to clinical service, educational activities, and academic pursuits. Asking questions leads us to new and exciting adventures in biotherapies!
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.