A national umbilical cord blood bank owned by the director of information services at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Business Administration is preparing to begin collecting umbilical cord tissues.
Southern Cord, the only umbilical cord blood bank headquartered in Alabama, is located in Huntsville's HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and owned by UAH's Chakri Deverapalli. It is planning to offer the new service in the near future.
"We are soon going to be storing not just the blood but the cord tissues, as well," says Deverapalli, who has three master's degrees from UAH, in computer engineering, electrical engineering and business administration.
Umbilical cord tissues contain a different kind of stem cells than cord blood, and these cells are being researched for use in different medical applications than cord blood.
Since 2010, Southern Cord has been helping families save and bank stem cells from the umbilical cord blood of newborns. If the umbilical cord blood is not saved, it is medical waste. But if it is saved, it can be an important insurance policy for the baby later in life, and even for close relatives.