Transfusion Medicine and Cellular Therapy

Our team has over 60 passionate, skilled, and specially trained professionals including board certified physician medical directors, scientists, registered nurses, licensed medical technologists, technicians, and associates. The Blood Bank operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing more than 70,000 units of blood, platelets, and plasma for transfusion every year. The Apheresis Center and Cellular Therapy Laboratory perform an average of 2,100 procedures per year. 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. All members of our team meet regulatory and accrediting requirements. The Transfusion Medicine and Cellular Therapy Division also participate in numerous clinical research studies requiring various apheresis collections and immunohematology laboratory testing.

The Blood Bank 

The Blood Bank supports both the inpatient and outpatient transfusion services at Mount Sinai with immunohematology testing, and by providing blood, plasma, platelets, and other products for transfusion. 

The Blood Bank Laboratory staff performs testing and prepares 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.

Our Medical Directors include 5 physicians who are board certified in Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine. We also have more than 15 licensed medical technologists and technicians on staff. The Blood Bank operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More than 330,000 tests are performed and we prepare more than 70,000 units of blood, platelets, and plasma for transfusion every year.

We are licensed by the New York State Department of Health, with accreditations from the AABB and the College of American Pathologists. The Blood Bank is an FDA registered establishment.

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.

The Blood Bank Team

Director: Jeffrey Jhang, MD

Senior Associate Director:

Suzanne A. Arinsburg, DO

Assistant Directors:

Yoon Choo, MD

Ian Baine, MD, PhD

Kimberly Lally, 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) supports the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation and Multiple Myeloma programs at the Mount Sinai Health System, which performs more than 250 transplants annually. Our laboratory is responsible for processing, storing, transporting, and assisting with the infusion of cellular therapy products (also called stem cell products) used for autologous as well as related and unrelated allogeneic transplantation. These processes are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), New York State Department of Health and accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy and the American Association of Blood Banks. We have successfully passed numerous regulatory/accrediting inspections and the CTL team has been honored with a “Recognition of Excellence Award.” Our team includes 6 skilled and dedicated technologists.

Cellular Therapy Clinical Services

The staff of the Cellular Therapy Laboratory performs a range of procedures and services, including the following:

  • Processing of bone marrow, peripheral and cord blood stem cells for infusion, including procedures such as volume, red cell and plasma reduction, removal of cryoprotective media, and handling of novel CAR-T cell therapies. Storage involves the addition of cryoprotective media to products, followed by controlled rate freezing and placement into the vapor phase in liquid nitrogen freezers.
  • Processing and cryopreserving donor lymphocytes to be used for patients who had a prior allogeneic bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.
  • Delivering cryopreserved, reconstituted, or washed cellular products to the recipient’s bedside (both inpatient and outpatient) and thawing of the cryopreserved cellular products at the bedside.
  • Arranging shipment of patients’ products to and from other institutions at a patient’s and physician’s requests.

Cellular Therapy Research Services

Our laboratory supports various procedures for FDA-approved investigational cellular therapy products including but not limited to CAR-T cell therapies, umbilical cord-derived stem cell products, and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Investigators interested in cellular therapy research are encouraged to contact our Directors for consultancy on regulatory compliance and research participation.  All studies involving Cellular Therapy services are required to complete a Request for Research Participation Form. Please complete, save and send a copy of this form and requested documents to email addresses listed within the form.

The Cellular Therapy Team

Facility Director: Camelia Iancu-Rubin, Ph.D

Medical Director: Luis Isola, MD

Manager: Yelena Sinitsyn, MS

For more information or to contact us, please call 212-241-0001.

The Apheresis Center

The Apheresis Center at the Mount Sinai Health System supports our clinical teams daily 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. 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 substances 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 contact our Directors and to seek advice on the most appropriate cellular component collection protocols. We provide consultations during study development and grant-in-writing process.

All studies involving Apheresis Center services are required to complete a Request for Research Participation Form.

The Apheresis Center Team

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

Medical Director: Suzanne A. Arinsburg, DO
Director: Jeffrey Jhang, MD
Associate Director: Yoon Choo, MD
Assistant Director: Ian Baine, MD, PhD
Assistant Director: Kimberly Lally, MD
Nurse Manager: Tamarah Kent, BSN, RN

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