Upstate Cord Blood Bank
About Upstate Cord Blood Bank
A Not-for-Profit Public Donation Center
Upstate Cord Blood Bank is 1 of only 2 public cord banks in New York State, and among 30 in the U.S, that accepts cord blood donations. Our state-of-the-art facility is a LEED green building that is located on the beautiful Upstate Medical University’s Community Campus.
At the Bank, we conduct various testing and determine if the donated cord blood unit is appropriate for processing, cryopreservation, storage, and distribution for use in lifesaving medical treatments. 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 470+ CNY families. Adding more cord blood units from those of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds increases the likelihood that all patients will find the match they need to have hope for a cure.
We are dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for people suffering from serious medical conditions. Donating your baby’s cord blood to the Upstate public cord blood bank can help patients get the transplants they need. Your little miracle could be someone else’s cure!
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).