WMDA – Basic Level course – Donor Coordinator packages


If you’ve just started to work in the field of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, chances are you will be overwhelmed with a lot of new information, field-specific terminology and many abbreviations. The WMDA Donor Coordinator packages can support you to get a profound background and basic knowledge on subjects like stem cells and collection procedures, indications for stem cell transplantation and human leukocyte antigens (HLA). These Donor Coordinator packages are especially valuable for every donor coordinator who starts working in this field, but it can also be a nice refresher when you’ve already worked in the field of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for some years.

Who can participate?

The Donor Coordinator educational packages are part of the WMDA Basic level course, but the modules are more specifically selected for the needs of donor coordinators to gather background knowledge valuable in their daily jobs. The Donor Coordinator packages are also open for registration by anyone who is interested like people with other registry supporting functions. If you would like to follow other modules of the WMDA Basic level course which are not included in the Donor Coordinator packages, please visit the Basic level course page for the module descriptions and corresponding prices.

Course Summary

If you sign up for the Donor Coordinator package, you will receive access to 5 modules and a final exam. It is also possible to purchase an additional module (Search strategy and web tools for search) as part of the Donor Coordinator Plus package. Each module has a 1-hour lecture accompanied by a handout, a glossary and finishes with a multiple-choice test. Depending on your educational background, you will spend around 3-5 hours per module. The speakers are experts with many years of experience in research, clinical testing, patient care and are very knowledgable in the field of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

At the bottom of this page, you will find the details about the modules included in the Donor Coordinator package and Donor Coordinator Plus package. Have a look to see what fits best with your professional expertise.

Course Setup 

The WMDA Donor Coordinator packages are based on a subscription. After finishing the course, you will receive a certificate as proof of your participation.


For EBMT/EFI/ WMDA members/staff members of WMDA member registries:
Donor Coordinator package € 399
Donor Coordinator Plus package € 449
Please contact us directly for the non-member prices

Prices are excluding VAT (21%). An invoice will be sent to all persons who have registered for the course.

How to register for the Donor Coordinator packages?

You can register by clicking on the ‘Register yourself’ button below and by filling out the form. Choose at the question ‘I want to sign up for’ either the option Donor Coordinator package or Donor Coordinator Plus package. During the registration procedure, we ask you to provide the details of a supervisor. We need these details to ensure approval of time and costs for your participation. We will use your supervisor’s details in case we cannot reach you personally.

You can find the terms and conditions here: WMDA Terms and Conditions

Register yourself


You can contact the WMDA office by email: education@wmda.info.



Detailed Content Information

   Cells and Haematopoietic System


In this module, you will learn more about the different types of stem cells, like embryonic and adult stem cells, and the differentiation of these stem cells into diverse cell types. The haematopoietic stem cells are discussed in more detail as well as their role and all blood cells and components that derive from these stem cells. Furthermore, the module describes diseases that arise from the haematopoietic stem cell lineage, the scientific basis behind haeamtopoietic stem cell transplantation, and the different sources with their pros and cons.

Learning objectives

  • Describe the role of stem cells in humans and discuss their potential roles in regenerative medicine
  • List the different levels of potency of cells and describe the ability of each level to differentiate into various cell types
  • Describe the hematopoietic niche
  • Diagram the cellular components of blood and their origin from hematopoietic stem cells
  • List diseases that arise within the HSC lineage
  • List the three sources of HSC used in transplantation
Speaker Enric Carreras. MD. PhD
Affiliation REDMO. José Carreras Foundation, Barcelona, Spain


   Medical Basics of Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation


Although donor coordinators are dealing with the procedures around the collection of blood samples and stem cells from donors, it can be very valuable to get inside of the procedures that patients in need of stem cell transplantations are facing. This module describes the transplant procedures, including transplant indications, the preparatory treatments of the patient, post-transplant complications (like graft failure, Graft versus Host Disease, infection, relapse) and the importance of follow-up and monitoring of late post-transplant effects on the patient.

Learning objectives

  • List diseases that are commonly treated by transplantation
  • List patient-specific factors besides disease that are considered when evaluating a patient for transplant
  • Describe the transplant procedure
  • List and define post-transplant complications and how they are often treated
  • List long term issues that may impact patients with transplants
  • Discuss the importance of collecting clinical data on transplant treatment and outcome
Speaker Bronwen E. Shaw, MBChB, PhD
Affiliation CIBMTR, Milwaukee, USA


   Registries and Cord Blood Banks


This module gives a general overview of the function and role of donor registries and cord blood banks, how they communicate and the different IT tools available during the search process. Also, information is provided about haematopoietic stem cell transplantation supporting umbrella organisations, like WMDA, EBMT, and WBMT. In order to promote quality in haematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the international exchange of donors and cord blood unit, a number of organisations provide accreditation of the various activities and also other regulations impacting cellular therapy and donor information exchange.

Learning objectives

  • Describe the organisational structure of the entities that support transplantation with unrelated volunteer donors and cord blood units
  • Appreciate the current status of the international donor pool and the donor exchange activity worldwide
  • Explain the purpose and role of worldwide organisations that support unrelated donor exchange
  • Be aware of regulatory activities governing donor exchange
Speaker Evelyne Marry, MD
Affiliation Hematopoietic Stem Cell Department, Agence de la Biomédecine, Saint-Denis La Plaine Cedex, France


   The Donor Experience


This module provides more information on the procedures around registration, donation and follow-up from a donor’s perspective. We are usually focused on curing patients, but the donor’s health needs to be protected as well with for example the WMDA standards and informed consents. Also, the differences in regulation between unrelated donors and family donors are explained. The donor experience after donation might have a direct impact on the matched patient and on the donor registry.

Learning objectives

  • Characteristics of stem cell donors
  • Stages in donor selection: recruitment, CT (verification and extending typing), workup, donation, follow-up
  • Protection of the donor (voluntary nature, informed consent, multiple donation requests)
Speaker Anne-Marie van Walraven, PhD
Affiliation Sanquin Donor Services, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


   Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA)


HLA matching is very important in the selection of stem cell donors, but why is this and why was your donor selected? In this module you learn about the role of HLA in the immune response against foreign tissues, the differences between HLA class I and class II and why we find so much HLA diversity in the human population. Also, the influence of HLA in some diseases, like infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases are explained as well as the interaction of HLA in drug toxicities.

Learning objectives

  • Describe the role that HLA plays in the immune response to pathogens
  • Compare and contrast the properties of the HLA class I and class II proteins
  • Identify the most important components of an HLA allele name when selecting a matched donor
  • Describe an HLA haplotype and how knowledge of allele associations plays a role in the search for a matched donor
  • Describe situations where HLA plays a part in the risk of a disease or in its treatment
Speakers Carolyn Hurley, PhD, D(ABHI)
Affiliation Department of Oncology, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA


   ONLY Included in Donor Coordinator Plus package

   Search Strategy and Web Tools for Search


Always wanted to know how search coordinators find the best-matched donor for the patients before they request any samples from your donors? This module explains how you should start a search for a stem cell donor by evaluating the patient’s HLA, how to interpret search reports and select potentially matched donors for further testing. During the donor search, you can use many different web tools to evaluate the HLA of the patient or predict the HLA genotype and haplotypes from the potential donors. When and how to use those web tools is explained in this module as well as in the WMDA search tools guide.

Learning objectives

  • Define and describe how to carry out an effective unrelated donor search
  • Evaluate a patient’s HLA by using web-based tools
  • Interpret an unrelated donor search report and select potentially matching donor from search report
  • Select mismatched donors based on data from outcome studies
Speakers Machteld Oudshoorn, PhD and Carolyn Hurley, PhD, D(ABHI)
Affiliation Matchis Foundation and Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
Department of Oncology, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA