The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank Names New Laboratory Director

St. Louis, Missouri
Monday, May 17, 2010

The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of Salem Akel, PhD as its Scientific and Laboratory Director. Dr. Akel assumed his new responsibilities in March 2010.


As Laboratory Director, Dr. Akel will oversee technical policies and procedures that result in effective collection, production, storage, and release of high quality cord blood units, and ensure that these activities comply with current federal laws and applicable regulations. He will advance the scientific agenda of the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank to expand therapeutic applications for cord blood and to further innovative techniques related to umbilical cord blood biology, banking, and transplantation.


“We’re thrilled that Dr. Akel has joined our team,” said Donna Regan, executive director. “His work will enhance the understanding of the cells contained in cord blood and expand the clinical applications of this valuable resource. Dr. Akel’s experience and enthusiasm promises a great future, not only for us, but for the entire cell therapy industry.”


Dr. Akel has extensive experience with stem cell processing and research, starting with his postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. His research interest is the study of the biology of hematopoietic stem cells aiming at the development of cell therapy technologies for treatment of hematopoietic and degenerative diseases. His research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.


Most recently, he served as Laboratory Director for Yafa Medical Laboratories in Amman, Jordan. Previously, he was Assistant Professor of Pathology/Hematology at Hashemite University, Jordan. He was supervisor of bone marrow transplantation and stem cell processing unit in laboratories of Al-Hussein Cancer Center, Jordan. He also worked as a scientific consultant for various biotechnology companies throughout the region that offer products used in research.


Dr. Akel currently is living in Manchester, MO, where his wife, Kefah and their five children will soon join him.




Established in 1995, the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank is one of the largest and most active independent public cord blood banks in the world. It has provided nearly 1,700 stem cell products to adults and children at transplant centers around the globe. The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank operates at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center and is affiliated with St. Louis University School of Medicine.