January 7, 2019

John Halloran, like many people in South Texas, began donating blood when he was in high school (in his case, Churchill).

But he didn’t become passionate about being a donor until his nephew was diagnosed with leukemia in 1987. By 1992, he was a regular at South Texas Blood & Tissue Center donor rooms and mobile drives.

“Because of both the need in the community and the history with my nephew, I began donating platelets,” he said. “It’s a journey that has lasted to this day.”

In 2018, Halloran topped 61 gallons in blood donations. And he will be adding to his total in January during National Blood Donor Month, which recognizes the extraordinary efforts of blood donors across the nation and serves as a reminder for others to give.

December 24, 2018

As the year comes to a close, here are the top 10 stories that happened in BioBridge Global and its family of nonprofits that include the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and The Blood and Tissue Center Foundation.

December 17, 2018

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center makes thousands of deliveries of blood and blood products every year, serving hospitals and clinics in an area larger than many states.

But in some parts of the world, blood deliveries are more of a struggle because of poor roads and difficult terrain.

That’s where a Bay Area startup called Zipline has found a way to deliver blood using drones.

In 2016, the company signed an agreement with the Rwanda government to deliver critically needed blood and medical supplies to rural areas using the unmanned aircraft.

The contract has been expanded to reach Rwanda’s entire population, the company’s CEO told the WIRED25 summit recently, and plans are in the works with the government of Ghana.

December 10, 2018

Scientists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have received two grants to help continue groundbreaking research on tissue regeneration.

Their method injects microbubbles with a bone-inducing gene into damaged tissues. Those areas are then treated with ultrasound waves, which mediates the delivery of the DNA into stem cells. Parts of the DNA become incorporated into the stem cells, activating the patient’s own stem cells to heal the injury.

“This type of gene delivery has the advantage of being targeted and safe, compared to using viral-based gene therapy,” said Scott Jones, vice president of scientific affairs at BioBridge Global. “This type of treatment is also nice because it’s noninvasive and uses the patient’s own cells, plus it doesn’t require growing stem cells outside the body.”

November 30, 2018

For many attending the recent AABB Annual Meeting in Boston, one word stuck out on a poster presentation from the Quality Assurance team in QualTex Laboratories.

“The title of our abstract jumps out – ‘turnaround’ is a huge deal in our industry,” said Robert Medina, who worked with Emmanuel Casasola and Douglas Armstrong on the study that led to the poster. “That’s one of the indicators that we look at daily. Seeing something different caught people’s attention.”

The poster, which summarized how QualTex Quality Assurance was able to dramatically reduce blood and plasma testing turnaround times, was named the best in its category at the annual convention for the blood collection and testing industry.