UAMS to Offer Free Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture Feb. 16 on Umbilical Cord Blood Transplants

By Susan Van Dusen

John E. Wagner, M.D., will present “Evolution of Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation” at 4 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Fred W. Smith Auditorium on the 12th floor of the UAMS Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute. Wagner is scientific director of clinical research of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, Minn.

The lecture is free, but seating is limited. To request a ticket, contact Barbara Coker at (501) 686-5672 or Valet parking is available in front of the Stephens Institute, or guests may park in UAMS parking deck 3 located at the corner of Jack Stephens Drive and Capitol Avenue.

In 1990, Wagner was part of the medical team that made history by performing the first umbilical cord blood transplant for leukemia. Cord blood transplants are now used to treat several childhood blood diseases and cancers. More than 6,000 cord blood transplants have been performed around the world.
Wagner has created one of the top umbilical cord blood research programs in the country at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His research focuses on umbilical cord blood transplants in children and adults with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood disorders and cancers; multipotent adult stem cells; and an inherited anemia that leads to bone marrow failure known as Fanconi anemia.
Gov. Mike Beebe signed into law in 2007 a unanimously approved measure to allow Arkansas to begin storing and researching potentially life-saving blood cells harvested from umbilical cords following the birth of healthy children. The law also authorized the creation of the Arkansas Commission for the Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood Initiative, an 11-member committee that is charged with educating pregnant mothers and the public about the benefits of donating umbilical cord blood.
The Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lectures were established in 1972 by friends of former Arkansas Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller. Rockefeller served as governor of Arkansas for two terms beginning in 1966. He died in 1973.
The endowment that funds the lecture program allows five universities in the University of Arkansas system to offer free public lectures that communicate ideas to stimulate public discussion, intellectual debate and cultural advancement. Funding for Dr. John E. Wagner’s appearance is provided by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has 2,775 students and 748 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit or