Transfusion Medicine and Cellular Therapy

  • Blood Bank
  • Cellular Therapy Laboratory
  • Apheresis Center

Our team has over 60 passionate, skilled, and specially trained professionals including board certified physicians, scientists, registered nurses, licensed medical technologists, technicians and associates. Our laboratories and facilities are registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, licensed by the New York State Department of Health and accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks, the College of American Pathologists, and the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy.

The Blood Bank 

The Blood Bank supports both the inpatient and outpatient transfusion services at Mount Sinai Hospital with immunohematology testing and by providing more than 45,000 units of blood, plasma, platelets, and derivatives for transfusion. 

Our Medical Directors include physicians who are board certified in Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine. The Blood Bank Laboratory staff includes licensed medical technologists and technicians performing testing and preparing blood products to ensure the safest possible transfusion for our patients. Testing includes blood ABO/Rh typing, screening for possible transfusion reaction-related antibodies, and cross matching blood units in preparation for transfusion. We use the most advanced methods of testing, with automation designed to provide rapid, accurate test results.

A Note to Patients on Blood Donations

The Mount Sinai Health System relies entirely on voluntary blood donations from carefully screened voluntary donors. All blood donated for transfusion undergoes extensive testing in compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations.

Some patients prefer to donate their own blood for transfusion, as part of their preparation for elective surgery. This is known as autologous blood donation, and we encourage it whenever possible. For some patients, autologous blood donation will not be possible, due to their age, medical status, or the timing of surgery. In this setting, family members or friends may donate blood for a patient to use, known as directed blood donation.

If you would like to arrange for autologous or directed blood donations, contact your physician to arrange the donation through the New York Blood Center, which has donor collection centers throughout the metropolitan area. Autologous and directed blood donations require special handling, for which the Blood Center charges a fee. At least five working days are needed to test, process, and ship the blood to Mount Sinai. For information on autologous and directed donations or to schedule a donation, contact the New York Blood Center or call (800) 439-6876.

Blood Bank Contacts

Director: Suzanne A. Arinsburg, DO

Assistant Directors: Ian Baine, MD, PhD  Yoon Choo, MD  Kathleen Leonard, MD

Manager: Louella Rudon

We are open 24 hours a day and 7 days per week, to contact us please call 212-241-6101.

The Cellular Therapy Laboratory

The Cellular Therapy Laboratory (CTL) provides services that enable more than 300 stem cell transplants and infusions of cell-based therapies performed annually within the Bone Marrow Transplant, Cellular Therapy and Multiple Myeloma Services at the Mount Sinai Hospital. Our laboratory is responsible for processing, storage and preparation for infusion of autologous and allogeneic cellular therapy products including stem cells, immune effector cells and other cell-based therapeutics. Quality Assurance programs have been implemented to ensure compliance with regulatory and accreditation requirements. Our team includes scientists and licensed medical technologists and has been honored with a “Recognition of Excellence Award.”

Cellular Therapy Clinical Services

The staff of the Cellular Therapy Laboratory performs over 1,000 procedures annually including but not limited to the following:

  • Processing of bone marrow, peripheral and cord blood stem cells collected by the Apheresis Center or shipped to Mount Sinai Hospital by external collection facilities. Processing procedures include volume, red cell and plasma reduction, product quality evaluation and cryopreservation.
  • Preparation of stem cell product for infusion including thawing, reconstitution or washing, quality control assays and delivery to the bedside inpatient or outpatient.
  • Handling FDA-approved CAR-T cells (Kymriah, Tecartus, Yescarta, Breyanzi, Carvykti and Abecma) including shipping of patient’s cellular collections for manufacturing, receipt of final cellular products, preparation for infusion and delivery to the bedside.
  • Managing inventory and storage of thousands of cryopreserved cellular therapy products in safe and controlled conditions in vapor phase liquid nitrogen freezers at our site and offsite storage facilities.

Cellular Therapy Research Services

Our laboratory supports various clinical research studies utilizing investigational cellular therapy products. Such products include but are not limited to CAR-T cells, umbilical cord-derived stem cells, mesenchymal stromal cells, virus-specific T cells, tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, etc. Investigators interested in conducting clinical research studies involving cellular therapies are encouraged to refer to this informational sheet and to contact our directors for consultancy on regulatory compliance and feasibility.

Cellular Therapy Laboratory Contacts

Laboratory Director: Camelia Iancu-Rubin, Ph.D

Medical Director: Luis Isola, MD

Manager: Yelena Sinitsyn, MS

We are open from 9AM to 6PM, Monday-Friday. To contact us please call 212-241-0001.

The Apheresis Center

The Apheresis Center at the Mount Sinai Health System supports our clinical teams in providing patients with effective therapies and life-saving treatments through the use of several different procedures including Therapeutic Apheresis and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell collection. Our Apheresis Center collaborates with a number of highly active clinical services and programs at Mount Sinai, including Bone Marrow/Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant, Hematology/Oncology, Neurology, Nephrology, Rheumatology, and Solid Organ Transplantation (such as for heart, kidney and liver). Our Center is staffed with skilled apheresis physicians and nurses committed to providing the highest quality patient care and performing more than 1,000 procedures annually. Quality Assurance programs have been implemented to ensure compliance with regulatory and accreditation requirements, including those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the New York State Department of Health, The Joint Commission, the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, the American Society for Apheresis, the Association of Advancing Transfusion and Cellular Therapies Worldwide, and the College of American Pathologists.

Therapeutic Apheresis

The theoretical basis for Therapeutic Apheresis is to reduce pathologic factors which mediate disease within the body through targeted removal of a component of the patient’s blood (i.e., plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells), thereby allowing for overall clinical improvement. Therapeutic Apheresis can also involve exchange transfusions where blood products, such as donor plasma or allogeneic red cells, are used as replacement as a form of treatment. The Apheresis Center performs the following types of therapies:

  • Plasmapheresis: Therapeutic plasma exchange is indicated in treating a number of diseases and conditions in areas such as Hematology/Oncology, Hepatic Diseases, Neurology, Nephrology, Rheumatology, and Solid Organ transplant rejections.
  • Leukapheresis: Therapeutic white cell depletion has been used to treat dramatically elevated white cell counts that can occur in acute Leukemia.
  • Erythrocytapheresis: Therapeutic red cell exchange can be used to treat complications of Sickle Cell Disease, severe Babesiosis, and other conditions.
  • Plateletpheresis: Therapeutic platelet depletion can be used for Thrombocytosis (such as Thrombocythemia) in symptomatic patients with platelet counts greater than 1,000,000/mL.
  • Photopheresis: Photopheresis (white cells exposed to ultraviolet light) can be used to treat Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma and Graft-Versus-Host Disease.
  • Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (PBSC) Collection: PBSC collection is the extraction of stem cells from peripheral blood (as opposed to bone marrow) for potential use in Hematopoietic Stem Cell transplantation.
  • Mononuclear Cell (MNC) Collection: MNC collection is the extraction of mononuclear cells and lymphocytes from peripheral blood for potential manufacture and infusion in standard of care CAR-T therapy.

Our Apheresis Physicians are available for medical consultations.

Apheresis Center Clinical Research

We are participating in a number of clinical studies utilizing FDA-approved investigational cellular products by providing procedure-based services which enable collections and handling of cells for various cellular therapies. For instance, our Apheresis Center performs collection of mononuclear cells for manufacturing and infusion of CAR-T cell therapies for patients with cancer and performs PBSC collections with clinical studies for infusion for patients with non-hematologic conditions. Investigators interested in research requiring apheresis services are encouraged to refer to this informational sheet and to contact our Directors to seek advice on the most appropriate cellular component collection protocols. We provide consultations during study development and grant-in-writing process.

Apheresis Center Contacts

The Apheresis Center’s Team includes 5 physicians and over 18 passionate, skilled, and specially trained professionals (nurses and associates).

Collection Facility Director: Suzanne A. Arinsburg, DO
Medical Director: Ian Baine, MD, PhD
Associate Director: Yoon Choo, MD
Nurse Manager: Tamarah Kent, BSN, RN

For more information or to contact the Apheresis Center, call us at: 212-241-6104.