Thomas Hospital Stem Cells Headed to International Space Station
Mobile, Ala. – Infirmary Health is excited to announce that, through an ongoing partnership with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, CD-34 cells (stem cells) collected from umbilical cord blood, including those collected by Megan Dimoff, M.D., at Thomas Hospital, will soon travel to the International Space Station.
LifeSouth was selected to provide these cells to Abba Zubair, M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic for his research study aboard the Space Station. Dr. Zubair and others are studying how these stem cells will divide or expand in space versus how the same cells expand on Earth, with the ultimate goal that these cells will be used for cancer treatment.
“At Infirmary Health, our mission is LIFE. We are honored to fulfill our commitment to our mission through this unique opportunity granted to Thomas Hospital and Dr. Dimoff by Dr. Zubair and his team. We are incredibly proud of Dr. Dimoff, her representation of Thomas Hospital and her passion for advancing the practice of medicine.,” said Ormand Thompson, president of Thomas Hospital.
LifeSouth’s Cord Blood Bank provides products used for this study. At Thomas Hospital and Mobile Infirmary, mothers can donate their newborn’s umbilical cord blood, which is made available for patients needing a stem cell transplant. If the cord blood is not viable for transplant, it can be used for medical research aimed at curing cancers, diseases and genetic disorders.
A spacecraft is scheduled to launch this month from Kennedy Space Center and will carry these cryogenically-preserved cells to the International Space Station. Crew members on board will thaw the cells and seed them into specialized hardware to allow them to expand.
For more information about the Cord Blood Bank and other birth services at Infirmary Health, visit https://www.infirmaryhealth.org/services/womens-health/birth-services/.
To view a video interview of Dr. Megan Dimoff, visit https://youtu.be/U0VogIUsXsc.