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Stem Cell Pioneer Recognized for 20 Years of Discovery and Innovation

TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. David Harris, Professor of Immunology at the University of Arizona and a scientific pioneer in the field of stem cell banking, was the recipient of the Arizona BioIndustry Association™ (AZBIO) 2012 award for "20 Years of Discovery and Innovation". The annual AZBIO Awards is Arizona's premier bioscience event and was held at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Dr. Harris is a graduate of Wake Forest University, the leading center for stem cell regenerative medicine and tissue engineering in the world today.

In 1991, Dr. Harris became the first person to bank stem cells for future use.  He did so by banking his first child's cord blood stem cells. In 1992, Dr. Harris founded the Arizona Cord Blood Bank which later evolved to become the Cord Blood Registry™ [CBR], the largest cord blood stem cell bank in the world. Dr. Harris continues as Chief Science Officer at CBR.

In 2011, Dr. Harris founded AdiCyte™, an adult stem cell banking company preserving adipose-derived [mesenchymal] stem cells for future use in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Adipose tissue, the medical name for 'fat', is the richest source of mesenchymal stem cells in the human body.

"I believe adipose stem cells have enormous potential in regenerative medicine and healing" Harris said. "My vision is to enable people to bank their stem cells for later use in treatments. Adipose stem cells can differentiate into other tissues such as heart muscle, bone, cartilage, nerve and more. Already, doctors have had success in restoring function after a heart attack, and engineering new organs such as a bladder, trachea or new blood vessels using a patient's own stem cells."

The Arizona BioIndustry Association is comprised of member organizations in business, research, government, and other professions involved in biosciences. AZBio supports the members of the Arizona bioscience community by providing access to the key resources, connections, and information that support their objectives.

AdiCyte Incorporated is the leader in biobanking of adipose tissue for use in cosmetic, surgical, reconstructive and regenerative medical treatments. Patients can now bank their adipose tissue as a biological resource for emerging treatments. The company's laboratory and processing facility is located at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, Arizona.

Stephen Grant, Corporate Communications

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