As a pioneer in the global endeavor to develop effective treatments for an array of blood and immune disorders, the Stanford University School of Medicine (SoM) thrives on the pursuit of innovative research. Therefore, we are proud to introduce The Binns Program for Cord Blood Research, a joint effort initiated by the Pediatric Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which will serve as a resource to support Stanford University SoM research at the basic, translational and clinical levels.

The Binns Program for Cord Blood Research is a collaborative effort between obstetric providers in the Labor and Delivery (L&D) unit at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford researchers and other champions of the local community to establish a resource that primarily aims to: (1) provide interested patients with a means for the post-partum donation of cord blood toward research; (2) develop and implement a standardized system for the collection, processing and distribution of cord blood components to the Stanford community; and (3) further the study of various genetic, hematological and immunological diseases.This resource will become available to Stanford researchers by Spring 2016. Due in large part to the generous funding provided by the Binns family, the Binns Program is rapidly evolving into a mature entity equipped to fulfill its mission of advancing healthcare in true Stanford fashion – through research and discovery.

Umbilical cord blood, typically discarded with the placenta as post-partum medical waste, contains a variety of cell types, including adult somatic stem cells, involved in hematopoiesis and immunological function. It is a rich source of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), a multipotent cell type with the ability to self-renew and give rise to an entire lineage of blood cells. This characteristic introduces a vast potential of clinical and research applications in areas of wide interest such as stem cell biology and pathophysiology, sickle cell anemia, and various blood cancers, among others. The fundamental drive for innovative research underscores an important aim of the Binns Program – to expand the accessibility of cord blood as a resource for research throughout the Stanford community.

With the informed consent of eligible donors – expectant mothers scheduled to deliver at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital – cord blood units will be collected by the cord blood coordinator and/or an obstetric provider, de-identified and processed in a Lorry Lokey Stem Cell laboratory. Processed units will be made available to Stanford researchers upon completion of a request form (soon to be available online). Cord blood will be distributed based on several criteria, including: (1) the type of research being conducted, (2) whether or not the research is compliant with guidelines set by the research oversight committee, and (3) the alignment between the characteristics of available units and those desired by the research group.

Fulfilling the mission of the Binns Program – a program that we hope, with time, will prove to be dynamic and self-sustaining – is a collaborative undertaking. The enthusiasm and warm reception that has been extended to this program thus far is truly encouraging, and we thank you in advance for your support and contributions to what is bound to be a great endeavor.  

We welcome your questions and are always happy to discuss the various aspects of our program.