About Upstate Cord Blood Bank
A 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit Public Donation Center
Upstate Cord Blood Bank is the only public cord bank in upstate New York State. We are also among the 25 cord banks in the U.S that accept cord blood donations. You can find our state-of-the-art facility located on the same campus as Upstate Community Hospital.
We conduct various testing and determine if the donated cord blood unit is appropriate for processing, cryopreservation, storage, and distribution. We also send cord blood units to medical researchers with the consent of the donor to be used in clinical trials. Future expansion will include collections from other CNY hospitals and an option for Family Banking.
Since the Upstate Cord Blood Bank opened in 2017, we have received donations from over 1,100 CNY families. Adding more cord blood units from those of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds increases the likelihood that patients in need of life-saving transplants will find a match.
We are dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for people suffering from serious medical conditions. Donating your cord blood to the Upstate Cord Blood Bank can help patients in need of life-saving transplants. Your little miracle could be someone else’s miracle!
Laboratory and Medical Director
Matthew Elkins is the Laboratory Director and Medical Director of processing for the Upstate Cord Blood Bank (UCBB). He is a board-certified physician in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and Transfusion Medicine/Blood Banking. He received both his MD and his PhD in Cell and Structural Biology from the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign in 2008. He completed his Pathology residency and Transfusion Medicine/Blood Banking training at the University of Michigan from 2008 to 2013.
Dr. Elkins is also the Director of Transfusion Medicine, the Director of Apheresis, and the Director of the Stem Cell Laboratory at Upstate Medical University (UMU). He oversees the adult stem cell collection procedures as part of the Bone Marrow Transplant program at UMU. At the UCBB, he uses this experience to oversee and set standards for the processing of the cord blood donations. Dr. Elkins reviews the final testing results on each cord blood unit to ensure its effectiveness and safety for transplantation. He frequently provides presentations on cord blood banking, bone marrow transplantation, and transfusion for medical professionals, students, and the general public.
Dr. Elkins is regionally active as the President-Elect for the Blood Bank Association of New York State (BBANYS), a state-wide professional organization. He is also active nationally as a member of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Center for Cellular Therapies, American Society for Apheresis (ASFA), College of American Pathologists (CAP), American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), and American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL).
Assistant Laboratory Director
Born and raised in Syracuse, Elizabeth Ruckdeschel is the Assistant Laboratory Director for the Upstate Cord Blood Bank (UCBB). Dr. Ruckdeschel received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental/Forest Biology and Biochemistry with an honors thesis based on three years of biochemistry bench research from the SUNY- College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her MD and PhD in Microbiology and Immunology were both earned from the University of Buffalo in 2009.
During this time, she published multiple papers in the field of vaccine research aimed at protecting patients from organisms that cause otitis media and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations. She then completed a Pathology Residency and Hematopathology training at Upstate Medical University from 2009 to 2014. After completing her training, Dr. Ruckdeschel joined Upstate’s Department of Pathology as an Assistant Professor.
Dr. Ruckdeschel is also the Director of Flow Cytometry at Upstate Medical University (UMU) and is active on UMU’s Pharmacology and Toxicology quality subcommittee on anti-coagulation. She diagnoses leukemias, lymphomas, and other blood disorders at UMU. She particiates in lecturing and teaching medical students and residents, serving as an advisor on masters thesis committees and implementing new testing for both flow cytometry and molecular diagnostics.
At the UCBB, she uses her laboratory experience to help oversee the laboratory and establish protocols for the reciept, processing, and quality testing of the donated cord blood units. Dr. Ruckdeschel reviews the final testing results on each cord blood unit to ensure its potency for future transplant.
Dr. Ruckdeschel is active nationally as a member of the International Clinical Cytometry Society (ICCS), College of American Pathologists (CAP), American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY), and the American Medical Association (AMA).
Laboratory and Quality Services Manager