May 25, 2020

A drug for people with type 2 diabetes may reduce the occurrence of acute graft vs. host disease in patients who received peripheral blood stem cell transplants. 

The immune dysfunction can affect between 34% and 51% of transplant patients and is one of the major complications for patients weeks after a transplant, limiting the effectiveness of a cure for leukemia and lymphoma.

A preliminary clinical study at the Indiana University School of Medicine showed 78% of the patients in the study of the drug sitagliptin did not develop the disease, and none of them died.

May 18, 2020

For years, scientists have looked for ways to generate more blood stem cells for clinical therapies. But a research team from Mount Sinai in New York has found a way to make higher-quality stem cells, rather than more numerous ones, in a new study.

“This research group believes the answer is not necessarily to produce more of the cells, but make them a higher quality,” said Scott Jones, Vice President, Scientific Affairs at BioBridge Global. “Quality means they exhibit more stem potential and engraft better in the new host.”

Higher-quality hematopoietic stem cells could make a marrow transplant more effective, and potentially allow more transplants from a single donation.

May 13, 2020

harry_bbqFor several years, barbecue wasn’t just a backyard-on-the-Weber event for Tom Parrish, Assistant Director of BBG Facilities and Fleet. 

Parrish and his wife were a team called “Rub This BBQ,” competing in around six professional barbecue competitions a year. He also was founder and pit master for the “Driller’s Delight BBQ Cooking Team,” taking part for eight years in the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo BBQ Cook-Off

“I took a photo, and it didn’t do it justice,” Parrish said of the stock show’s competition, which one year covered a large part of the huge Fiesta Texas parking lot. 

Parrish also was one of the founders of the Westside Chili Association, which for 12 years ran a series of monthly chili cook-offs. 

May 11, 2020

If you have certain blood types, we may ask you to make a different kind of donation the next time you visit one of our donor rooms or drives – platelets. 

Platelets are the part of your blood that clot and help stop leaks. Because their storage time is the shortest of any blood component, they’re always in high demand by hospitals. 

Donating platelets typically takes about two hours, from the time you check in for your appointment to the snacks at the end, about the time to watch the typical Hollywood blockbuster. 

Here’s who you’ll help with a platelet donation: 

May 4, 2020

One of the largest, most-visible pieces of the BioBridge Global art collection started out as trash.

“Shrine,” which hangs on the north wall of the Headquarters Building lobby, is made from 21 student desks that artist Henry Rayburn discovered in a dumpster behind a school. Rayburn bolted the pieces together, overlaying them with images of the Alamo, and it has been part of the art collection since the building opened in 1996.

That art collection – which expanded when the Donor Pavilion opened in 2008 – was a major part of a vision for a new facility that originated in the early 1990s. 

“We sat down with the leadership and said the building just can’t be a building,” said Tim Blonkvist, architect with Overland Partners, which designed the facility. “The building had to reflect the purpose, mission and culture of this organization.”