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Jo-Anna Reems, PhD

Dr. Jo-Anna Reems has over 30 years of experience spearheading the translation of pioneering cell therapies and regenerative medicines from bench to bedside.

Dr. Reems had a distinguished tenure as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Program at the University of Utah. Her accomplishments include: 1) establishing public umbilical cord blood banks to supply hematopoietic stem cells for blood disorders, 2) pioneering a cGMP manufacturing method for cadaveric islet cell transplantation in type 1 diabetes, 3) developing a proprietary cGMP platelet lysate formulation for use as a cell culture supplement, 4) spearheading a patented amniotic fluid-based biotherapeutic (US Patent No. 10,555,973), and 5) producing CD34+ cells, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and regulatory T cells amnion membranes for therapeutic use.

Beyond these achievements, Dr. Reems has been instrumental in steering national regulatory policies and clinical translation of cell therapies through advisory board participation. Highlights include serving as Project Director on the CW Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program, helping implement the National Cord Blood Inventory, as well as taking part in an NIH-led international trial administering cadaveric islets using the Edmonton protocol. Dr. Reems has been an inspector for the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapies (FACT), a Scientific Member of the Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion (BEST) research group, and a long-term member of the Association for Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB).

With numerous peer-reviewed publications and invited presentations at leading conferences, Dr. Reems is widely recognized as an expert driving the adoption and advancement of cell and regenerative therapies from research into life-changing new medicines.