Ralph R. Vassallo, Jr., MD, FACP

Dr. Ralph Vassallo is the Chief Medical Officer of the American Red Cross Blood Services, Heritage Division, based at the Penn-Jersey region in Philadelphia. He has been a member of Penn-Jersey’s regional medical team since 2002.

He received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and subsequently completed a residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining the Red Cross, Dr. Vassallo was the Director of Medical Education and a hospital administrator for the Frankford Health Care System in Philadelphia for almost ten years. He served as Program Director for the Thomas Jefferson University Transitional Year Residency at Frankford Hospitals and as Internal Medicine rotation liaison for 4 additional programs based at Frankford.

An AABB member, Dr. Vassallo chairs their Circular of Information Committee. He is on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Society of Blood Bank Professionals. He is also a member of the Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion Collaborative. His research interests lie in platelet physiology, platelet transfusion and transfusion performance improvement efforts. Dr. Vassallo currently serves as Medical Director for all two Red Cross basic science laboratories, devoting most of his time to the platelet and red cell radiolabeling laboratory at the Philadelphia facility, which partners with industry in developing and testing new transfusion medicine technologies.

Selected Research Publications:

  1. Dumont LJ, Cancelas JA, Graminske S, Friedman KD, Vassallo RR, Whitley PH, Rugg N, Dumont DF, Herschel L, Siegal AH, Szczepiorkowski ZM, Fender L, Razatos A. In vitro and in vivo quality of leukoreduced apheresis platelets stored in a new platelet additive solution. Transfusion 2013; 53(5): 972-80
  2. Heddle NM, Wu C, Vassallo R, Carey P, Arnold D, Lozano M, Pavenski K, Sweeney S, Stanworth S, Liu Y, Traore A, Barty R, Tinmouth A.  Adjudicating bleeding events in a platelet dose study: impact on outcome results and challenges.  Transfusion 2011;51:2304-2310
  3. van der Meer PF, Cancelas JA, Cardigan R, Devine DV, Gullikssen H, Sparrow RL, Vassallo RR, de Wildt-Eggen J, Bauman-Baretti B, Hess JR.  Evaluation of the overnight hold of whole blood at room temperature before component processing: effect of red blood cell (RBC) additive solutions on in vitro RBC measures.  Transfusion 2011;51(Suppl 1):15S-24S.
  4. van der Meer PF, Cancelas JA, Vassallo RR, Rugg N, Einarson M, Hess JR.  Evaluation of the overnight hold of whole blood at room temperature before component processing: platelets (PLTs) from PLT-rich plasma.  Transfusion 2011;51(Suppl 1):45S-49S.
  5. Cardigan R, van der Meer PF, Pergande C, Cookson P, Bauman-Baretti B, Cancelas JA, Devine D, Gulliksson H, Vassallo R, de Wildt-Eggen J.  Coagulation factor content of plasma produced from whole blood stored for 24 hours at ambient temperature: results from an international multi-center BEST Collaborative study.  Transfusion 2011;51(Suppl 1):50S-57S.
  6. Vassallo RR , Adamson JW, Gottschall JL, Snyder E, Lee W, Houghton J, Elfath MD.  In vitro and in vivo evaluation of apheresis platelets stored for 5 days in 65% platelet additive solution / 35% plasma.  Transfusion 2010;50:2376-2385 .
  7. Vassallo RR , Hsu S, Einarson M, Barone J, Brodsky J, Moroff G.  A comparison of two robotic platforms to screen plateletpheresis donors for HLA anti bodies as part of a TRALI mitigation strategy.  Transfusion 2010;50:1766-1777.
  8. McAteer MJ, Dumont LJ, Cancelas J, Rugg N, Vassallo R , Whitley P, Graminske S, Friedman K.  The hemolysis levels generated during 42-day refrigerated storage of RBC units are donor-specific.  Vox Sang 2010;99:34-43.
  9. Vassallo RR , Wagner SJ, Einarson M, Nixon J, Ziegler D, Moroff G.  Maintenance of in vitro properties of leukoreduced whole blood-derived pooled platelets after a 24-hour interruption of agitation.  Transfusion 2009;49:2131-5.
  10. Vassallo RR .  Recognition and management of anti bodies to human platelet antigens in platelet transfusion-refractory patients.  Innumohematology 2009;25:119-24.
  11. Wagner SJ, Vassallo R, Skripchenko A, Einarson M, Seetharaman S, Moroff G.  Comparison of the in vitro properties of apheresis platelets during 7-day storage after interrupting agitation for one or three periods.  Transfusion 2008;48(12):2492-500.
  12. Wagner SJ, Vassallo R, Skripchenko A, Einarson M, Seetharaman S, Moroff G.  The influence of simulated shipping conditions (24- or 30-hour interruption of agitation) on the in vitro properties of apheresis platelets during 7-day storage.  Transfusion 2008;48(6):1072-80.

Selected Book Chapters:

  1. Vassallo RR .  Preparation of whole blood-derived platelet concentrates.  in Blajchman M, Cid J, Lozano M, eds.  Blood Component Preparation:From Benchtop to Bedside. Bethesda , MD : AABB Press, 2011.
  2. Vassallo R , Murphy S.  Apheresis Platelet Collection, Storage, Quality Assessment and Clinical Use.  in McLeod BC, ed.  Apheresis: Principles and Practice. Bethesda, MD: AABB Press, 2011.
  3. Quraishy N, Bachowski G, Benjamin RJ, Eastvold PV, Goldberg C, Hopkins CK, McLaughlin LGS, Miller YM, De Los Angeles Muniz M, Pisciotto P, Sheppard C, Vassallo RR, Westra J, Eder A. A Compendium of Transfusion Practice Guidelines. American National Red Cross, 2010.
  4. Murphy M, Vassallo R , Murphy S.  Preservation and Clinical Use of Platelets.  in Kaushansky K, Lichtman MA, Beutler E, Kipps TJ, Seligsohn U, Prchal J, eds.  Williams Hematology, 8 th Ed. New York , NY : McGraw-Hill, Inc., 2010.
  5. Vassallo Jr RR.   Preparation, Preservation and Storage of Platelet Concentrates.  In Stowell CP, Strauss RG, Solheim B, Snyder E, Petrides M, eds.  Rossi’s Principles of Transfusion Medicine, 4 th Ed. Bethesda, MD: AABB Press, 2008.