Cellular Therapy


Cellular therapy activities within the Division of Transfusion Medicine and Therapeutic Pathology comprise the collection of cells from patients in the Apheresis Unit, the processing of those cells in the Hematopoietic Stem Cell laboratory (HSC) or Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production Facility (CVPF), and the infusion of the processed products back into patients. The HSC lab is accredited by the AABB, College of American Pathologists (CAP), and Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). The CVPF is accredited by FACT.


• The HSC lab is responsible for the processing and storage of hematopoietic progenitor cells for autologous and allogeneic transplantation as well the processing, transport, return receipt, and storage of commercially-manufactured FDA-approved cellular therapies.

• The CVPF comprises two GMP cell manufacturing facilities and a Quality Control lab that performs release testing on manufactured products. These laboratories support the development of novel chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T), dendritic cell vaccines, and CRISPR-edited cells for use in Penn clinical trials. Additional information about the CVPF can be found at

Faculty and Staff

Dr. Andrew Fesnak serves as Director of the Hematopoietic Stem Cell laboratory and Dr. Don Siegel serves as the laboratory’s medical director. Additional attending physician supervision is provided by Drs. Nicole Aqui, Vijay Bhoj, Taku Kambayashi, and Una O’Doherty. Sam Mignogno, MLS(ASCP) serves as the Technical Supervisor of the laboratory. The Stem Cell lab operates Monday to Friday, 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM.

Dr. Don Siegel serves as Director of the CVPF with Dr. Gabriela Plesa serving as Deputy Director and Dr. Andrew Fesnak as Director of Manufacturing. The CVPF operates Monday to Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with additional evening hours and weekend hours as needed to complete manufacturing protocols.