Ottawa Stem Cell Manufacturing Team
Our stem cell manufacturing laboratory team in Ottawa is truly a group of heroes in every sense of the word. Their contributions and commitment have been, like many frontline health workers, under-recognized throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic began, the 19-person team spent countless hours overcoming many obstacles and working through numerous challenges because lives depended on it.
These challenges included distributing a higher number of cord blood units as demand increased for readily available product. They also helped to process and freeze units from international transplant centres due to pandemic-related logistics issues. Navigating the temporary closure of the Concourse Gate site due to positive COVID-19 cases while continuing to fill patients’ stem cell needs was another unforeseen obstacle they faced. The team also learned a new process for manufacturing T-cells for CAR-T cell therapies, which uses the patient’s own T-cells to fight diseases like blood cancers.
The team showed up, even in the wee hours, to do their work behind the scenes to support their number one client — the patient.