Norman Bethune Symposium

Dr. (Henry) Norman Bethune (1890-­1939) was a Canadian physician who in the 1930s spearheaded the implementation of the first practical mobile blood collection and distribution system and promoted universal access to health care. This symposium, held in his honour, is an informative and entertaining event with participation of a full range of scientists and clinicians at all levels of training.

Read more about Norman Bethune in our original post.


2018 Norman Bethune Symposium • April 10, 2018

The CBR is excited to present its 7th Annual Norman Bethune Symposium on April 10, 2018! This full-day symposium will be held at the UBC Robson Square Theatre, 800 Robson Street, a wonderful venue in downtown Vancouver.

We have a fabulous program this year and the highlights include: keynote presentations on the topics of red blood cell biology, patient blood management, new developments in platelet products, the appropriate use of blood and blood products and cellular therapies. In addition to hearing from both Canadian and international speakers, talks will be given by those receiving blood products, and selected oral and poster presentations will be given by students at all levels of training. The Symposium will be followed by a Wine and Cheese Reception for all attendees. Don’t miss out, as this event always reaches capacity.

Click here to register now. The registration is FREE, but you must register before March 20, 2018!

Live Webcast – For those who can’t make it in person, you can watch the Symposium LIVE online at the following link: 2018 NORMAN BETHUNE SYMPOSIUM WEBCAST LINK. To ensure your computer/mobile device is capable of receiving the webcast stream, click on the link to test: WEBCAST VIEWING REQUIREMENTS.

If you have any questions, please contact

The CBR gratefully acknowledges the support provided by our sponsors for this important educational event.

Past Programs

2017 Program –

  • Below you can view the videos from the presentations:
Norman Bethune Symposium – Morning – Part 1
Norman Bethune Symposium – Morning – Part 2
Norman Bethune Symposium – Afternoon

Plenary Speakers: 

  • Peter Newman, PhD, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, “CRISPR-mediated generation of antigenically-distinct platelet progenitors from human iPS cells”
  • Heather Pidcoke, MD, PhD, Terumo BCT, “Refrigerated (4°C) Platelets: New Opportunities for Improving the Care of Bleeding Patients”
  • Shibani Pati, MD, PhD, Blood Systems Research Institute, “Regulation of Organ Injury in Trauma and Critical Care Medicine by Plasma and Platelet Transfusion”
  • Hugh Kim, DMD, PhD, FRCD(C), UBC, “Platelet signaling from an oral health perspective”
  • Mohandas Narla, DSc, New York Blood Centre, “Insights into Erythropoiesis and Red Cell Biology relevant to Transfusion Medicine”
  • James Piret, ScD, FCIC, UBC, “Raman Spectroscopy as a Process Analytical Technology for Cellular Therapy Applications”
  • Jean Wang, MD, PhD, FRCPC, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, “A Social History of Transfusion Medicine”
  • Krista Klokeid, “Transfusion medicine through the eyes of a recipient”
  • Jacqueline Trudeau, MD, PhD, Vancouver General Hospital, “Clinical Experience with Implementation of a Laboratory Based Hospital Wide ROTEM program”
  • Mark Yazer, MD, University of Pittsburgh, “Whole blood for civilian trauma resuscitation: a new idea or back to the basics?”
  • Dana Devine, PhD, UBC, “Future of Transfusion Medicine”

2016 Program –

Plenary Speakers: 

  • Dr. Claudia S. Cohn, University of Minnesota, “Autologous platelet rich plasma: evidence for its therapeutic benefit”
  • Dr. Christopher Silliman, University of Colorado Denver, “Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI): novel concepts and methods of mitigation”
  • Dr. Michael Busch, Blood Systems Research Institute and University of California San Francisco, “Zika virus and other arboviral threats to the blood supply”
  • Dr. Michaël Chasse, Le Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, “What we can learn about transfusion from big data bases”
  • Dr. Eldad Hod,  Columbia University Medical Center, “Potential harmful effects of RBC transfusion: after RECESS and ABLE”
  • Dr. Jason Sutherland, UBC, “Funding healthcare in Canada: the pitfalls and opportunities”
  • Dr. Erik Vu, Vancouver General Hospital, “BCEHS paramedic out-of-hospital blood program”
  • Aidan Chin, Champion Child Ambassador for BC Children’s Hospital, “Childhood Cancer Survivor” 
  • Dr. William Sheffield, Canadian Blood Services and McMaster University, “Controlling bleeding via transfusion of plasma or factor concentrates in animal models”


2015 Program –

Plenary Speakers: 

  • Dr. Steven Deeks, UC San Francisco “HIV Cure: Are we Making Progress or Just A Lot of Noise?
  • Dr. Priscilla Hsue, UC San Francisco “HIV, Inflammation, and Cardiovascular Disease”
  • Dr. Deborah Money, UBC “Prevention of vertical transmission of HIV; successess and remaining challenges”
  • Dr. Richard Harrigan, UBC “Personalized therapeutic approaches for HIV”
  • Dr. Hélène Côté, UBC “Accelerated cellular aging in HIV”
  • Dr. Victor Blanchette, University of Toronto “Childhood Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP): Unanswered Questions”
  • Dr. Patrick Provost, Université Laval “Platelet and HIV-1-derived microRNAs”
  • Dr. Shannon Meeks, Emory University “Hemophilia A: moving towards individualized treatment of
    patients with inhibitors”
  • Dr. Georges-Etiénne Rivard, University of Montreal “Quebec platelet disorder”

2014 Program –

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | Simon Fraser University Segal Building, 500 Granville St., Vancouver, BC

For videos from the 2014 Norman Bethune Symposium please click here!

Plenary Speakers: 

  • Dr. Man-Chiu Poon, MD, University of Calgary, “Hemophilia in China – New Directions”
  • Dr. David Lillicrap, MD, Queen’s University, “Hemophilia – the Next Generation
  • Chris Arena “A Lifetime of Experiences with Ig
  • Dr. Don Branch, PhD, Canadian Blood Services, University of Toronto, “IVIG – How does it work
  • Dr. Hatoon Ezzat, UBC, St. Paul’s Hospital, “Transfusion challenges in hemoglobinopathies
  • Dr. Mark Scott, PhD, Canadian Blood Services, “Hiding the antigens from the antibodies

2013 Program –

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 | Simon Fraser University Harbour Centre, 555 West Hastings St., Vancoouver, BC

For videos from the 2013 Norman Bethune Symposium please click here!

Plenary Speakers: 

  • Roderick and Sharon Stewart,”Life and times of Norman Bethune
  • Dr. Dana Devine, PhD, Canadian Blood Services, CBR & UBC, “Challenges in Blood Management – Canada and Beyond
  • Dr. John Hartwig, PhD, Harvard Medical School, Boston, “Platelet synthesis and clearance
  • Dr. Mel Krajden, MD, BC Centre for Disease Control, “Hepatitis C Virus: From discovery to cure
  • Dr. Andre Smith, PhD, University of Victoria, “Blood donation and social capital
  • Dr. James Zimring, MD, PhD, Puget Sound Blood Centre, “Basic biology of incompatible transfusion reactions”
  • Dr. Mark Yazer, MD, University of of Pittsburgh,  “TACO and other forgotten about reactions to platelets
  • Dr. Tanya Petraszko, MD, UBC, “The BC Provincial Blood Coordinating Office
  • Dr. Kate Chipperfield, MD, VGH & UBC, “More baffling cases in the blood bank
  • Dr. Alan Lazarus, PhD, University of Toronto, “How do therapeutic immunoglobulins work

2012 Program –

Thursday, March 29, 2012 | Vancouver Sutton Place Hotel, 845 Burrard St.

Plenary Speakers:

  • Scott Davidson, Manager, Bethune Memorial House, “Life and times of Norman Bethune
  • Dr. Mark Yazer, MD, U of Pittsburgh “It’s not just sheep and dogs anymore: Transfusion through the ages
  • Dr. Ross Brown, MD, UBC “Transfusion issues for the Canadian military in Afghanistan
  • Dr. Jo Mountford, PhD, U of Glasgow “Blood Pharming: in vitro generation of RBCs for transfusion
  • Dr. Graham Sher, MD, CEO, Canadian Blood Services, “Future directions in blood services
  • Dr. Kevin Kain, MD, U of Toronto, “New biomarkers and interventions for life-threatening infections
  • Dr. Kate Chipperfield, MD, UBC, “Intriguing blood transfusion cases
  • Dr. John Wu, MD, UBC, “Exchange transfusions in the pediatric population
  • Dr. Tom Neville, MD, UBC, “Myelodysplastic syndromes: New therapies and supportive care strategies


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