Cellular Therapies Laboratory


  1. Provide exceptional cell processing service to our colleagues in the hematopoietic stem cell/bone marrow transplant programs at University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Jewish Hospital, Good Samaritan Medical Center and Akron Children's Hospital.
  2. Provide antigen-specific antiviral T cell products for investigational use in immunocompromised patients with either CMV, EBV, BKV, or AdV infections.
  3. Facilitate implementation of cellular therapy clinical trials throughout the Cincinnati area by: a) producing the clinical trial test material under cGMP conditions; b) Providing regulatory documentation for IND applications and IRB submissions; c) storing and distributing both investigational and licensed cell therapy products, including Kymriah and Yescarta.
  4. Educate laboratory technologists and research scientists in the laboratory aspects of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Laboratory Services

The Cellular Therapy Laboratory provides comprehensive laboratory support for bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients at UC Health, CCHMC, Jewish Hospital, Good Samaritan Medical Center, and Akron Children's Hospital, as well as for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).

For autologous transplants, the patient donates his or her own stem cells via apheresis prior to receiving their high-dose chemotherapy treatment, and then receives them back after treatment to speed recovery. This laboratory performs the testing to assure that an adequate dose is collected, and then cryopreserves and stores the product until it is needed. Staff also transport the product to the hospital and assist with the thaw procedure.

For allogeneic transplants, a related or HLA-matched healthy volunteer donates either bone marrow or a peripheral blood apheresis product cells for a patient. Umbilical cord blood products are used less frequently. This laboratory performs a variety of manipulations on these products, depending upon the source and volume of stem cells received and the diagnosis of the recipient.

  • Cryopreservation
  • RBC depletion
  • Plasma depletion
  • T cell depletion
  • Buffy Coat preparation
  • CD34 Selection
  • Cord Blood Thaw / Wash
  • Liquid nitrogen storage
  • Transportation
  • Thaw / Infusion

In addition, this group assists in the development of novel cellular therapy products and performs innovative cell selection and depletion procedures on hematopoietic progenitor cell grafts and other cellular materials for clinical trial use.

  • Antigen-specific T cell stimulation and expansion

Graft Characterization

The Cell Therapy Laboratory either provides the desired quality control testing in-house, or maintains contractual relationships with several laboratories on campus at the University of Cincinnati to provide the patient's physician with an understanding of the quality of the graft collected for their patients. Available testing includes:

  • Volume
  • Total cell count
  • Automated differential
  • Manual differential
  • Viability
  • Sterility
  • CD34+ cell enumeration
  • CD3+ cell enumeration
  • Mycoplasma
  • Endotoxin
  • Gram stain

Contact Information

Office: (513) 558-1551

Laboratory Director:
Dr. Tom Leemhuis
(513) 558-1553