About Upstate Cord Blood Bank
A Not-for-Profit Public Banking Center
As one of only two public cord blood banks in the State of New York, Upstate Cord Blood Bank in Syracuse is a not-for-profit public banking center. Our state-of-the-art facility is a silver LEED green building located on the beautiful Upstate Medical University’s Community Campus. We provide testing, processing, cryopreservation, storage, and distribution of cord blood from donors that is used for lifesaving medical treatments, as well as for medical research.
We are dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for people suffering from serious medical conditions using donated cord blood. We hope, with further research, we will one day cure many more diseases.
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).
Robert Silverman, MD is is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Upstate Medical University (UMU) in Syracuse, New York. He earned his Medical Degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. He then completed his residency at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan, followed by a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at UMU. After his medical training, Dr. Silverman joined UMU's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He was promoted to the rank of Professor with Tenure in 2009 and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2011.
Dr. Silverman has been a member of numerous state and national committees and task forces, including those for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Dr. Silverman was part of the New York State Safe Motherhood Initiative and helped to develop evidence-based management bundles that address the most common causes of maternal death in New York State.
Dr. Silverman has been a Section Chairman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He is a journal reviewer for multiple publications, including Obstetrics and Gynecology and American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is one of the leading experts on obesity in pregnancy and has lectured extensively in the United States and worldwide on the treatment and surgical management of this issue. His comprehensive textbook on obesity in Women’s Health will be published by McGraw Hill in February 2017.
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).
Bio Coming Soon
Annie Straight is our IT specialist for the Upstate Cord Blood Bank. Ms. Straight thoroughly enjoys solving tech issues and developing software that allows us to advance stem cell access and usage. For Ms. Straight, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to integrate cutting-edge technologies and to serve the Central New York community.
Ms. Straight began her work experience in 1992 with Upstate Medical University (UMU) as a part-time Medical Laboratory Scientist while in college. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Syracuse University, after which she was promoted to a full-time Medical Technologist. In 1994, she began working as an evening shift generalist.
Ms. Straight's interest in information technology led her to pursue a career specializing in laboratory information management systems (LIMS), working at a few nationally recognized software companies. She received her MBA from Medaille College in 2006, while working as a consultant for an emerging LIMS company in Nashville, Tennessee. She returned to Central New York and UMU in July 2016 to become an integral part of the Upstate Cord Blood Bank team.
Ms. Straight has over 18 years of expertise in System Implementation, IT Operations Management, Project Management, Software Development, Customer Support and Customer Service Management.