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World’s Largest Human Tissue Bank Bringing More Science Jobs to NEPA


Jessup, Lackawanna County, PA - MTF Biologics, on Mid Valley Drive in Jessup, and a distribution center nearby in Olyphant look no different than the dozens of industrial and business buildings in the business park.


Jason Framer / Times Tribune Photographer


However, behind its doors, hundreds of workers skilled as analysts, lab processing technicians, and quality and laboratory engineers ship 2,000-plus allografts per day.


As the nonprofit organization, based in Edison, New Jersey, continues plans for growth, it’s setting its sights on the Midvalley.


“Our corporate headquarters is landlocked. We have no more space there,” said MTF President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Yaccarino. “Fortunately, we have space up here and we have the ability to hire good folks and meet the needs of the organization.”


The nonprofit has 30 job openings, and next year’s plans include creating an additional 50 science and tech jobs, for about 360 total positions in Lackawanna County.


Growth comes amid advances in the science surrounding allografts. MTF has seen a push for more skin grafts used to support reconstructive surgery.


It’s also innovating ways to use blood and nutrient-rich tissue from umbilical cords to speed up wound healing for diabetes patients.


Wounds that would have taken months to heal could be cleared up in four to six weeks, Yaccarino said.


About a third of Americans are registered organ donors.


“The number of people who register as donors continues to increase,” said Martha Anderson, executive vice president of donor services.


Pennsylvania is among states with a high rate of registered donors, she said, partly because PennDOT makes it easy for people to register. Motorists can simply check a box when they renew their driver’s license.


Gallagher’s own experience, watching her family navigate donation as part of grieving and remembering her brother-in-law, who was only 40 when he died, has been profound, she said.


When John Boswell’s son, Jack Boswell, learned that his father’s donation helped a boy about his age, he wanted to do more. He asked friends and family to donate money to the Gift of Life Family House in Philadelphia.


“This little boy, for his ninth birthday, said, ‘I don’t want presents,’ ” Gallagher said. “Something so tragic happened to somebody so young, but then turned around to be such a great gift.”

Contact the writer:; 570-348-9131; @jon_oc on Twitter


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