John Hansen Research Grant


In honor of John A. Hansen, this grant is intended to provide financial support to promising young researchers to advance the understanding of complications and therapeutic strategies in the context of hematologic malignancies. The grant is funded by the DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden (Foundation for Giving Life) and administered by the DKMS gGmbH.



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Description of the Grant


The John Hansen Research Grant awards €240,000 ($270,000) over a period of three years (maximum €80,000/$90,000 per year), subject to reasonable progress of the research. Up to four projects will be selected from among the eligible applications.

The research proposal must address issues on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or cell therapy. Various aspects can be covered, including but not limited to: diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, transplant immunology, stem cell transplantation complications, donor selection or cell manufacturing.

Qualifications of the Applicant/Principal Investigator

Applicants must have obtained doctorate, a PhD., MD or equivalent in a field relevant to the award within the last twelve years (plus one year per child for mothers). Applicants do not need to hold a faculty position and can be in training (Fellows, Postdoctoral Fellows and Junior Faculties). Applicants from all countries are invited to submit an application.


Selected Projects 2020

The DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden (Foundation for Giving Life) is supporting international blood cancer research with four research grants with a combined value of €1 million. The John Hansen Research Grant 2020 has been awarded to four physicians and young scientists – two from the US, one from Switzerland and one from the Netherlands – to support their promising scientific research projects in the field of blood cancer and stem cell transplantation. Two of the four projects involve CAR-T cells, another one is investigating how DNA methylation regulates the immune cells and the fourth one is focussing on the optimal stem cell source for transplantation. DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden provides the funding for a period of three years.

Awardee 2020

Dr. Cynthia Perez

Dr. Cynthia Perez of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) in Lausanne

Project title: “Exploiting SLAMF7 self-interactions to provide additional co-stimulation to CAR-T cells against multiple myeloma”

Awardee 2020

Dr. Andrea Schmidts

Dr. Andrea Schmidts of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Charlestown

Project title: “CRISPR-based Modeling of Genetic Resistance to CAR-T Cell Therapy for Multiple Myeloma”

Video Dr. Andreas Schmidts (YouTube)

Awardee 2020

Dr. Mirjam Belderbos

Dr. Mirjam Belderbos of the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in Utrecht

Project title “What is the optimal stem cell source for transplantation? Population dynamics of post-transplant hematopoiesis using single cell analysis of somatic mutations”

Awardee 2020

Dr. Yiouli Ktena

Dr. Yiouli Ktena of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore

Project title: “Defining the role and targets of T cell DNA methylation in control of graft-versus-host disease and the graft-versus-tumor effect after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation”

Interview with Dr. Yiouli Ktena


2015 Jarrod Dudakov
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle)
Developing strategies to enhance T cell reconstitution after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

2015 Luca Vago
Fondazione Centro San Raffaele (Milan)
Novel Approaches to Decipher the Biological Mechanisms of Post-Transplantation Leukemia Relapse

2016 Angela Jacobi
Technische Universität Dresden
Evaluation of mechanical properties as a novel marker to characterize and to sort human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells for transplantation

2016 l-Kang Na
Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin
The role of the bone marrow vascular niche for memory immunity after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

2017 Frederik Damm
Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Influence of Donor Clonal Hematopoiesis in Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

2017 Hendrik Poeck
Klinikum rechts der Isar (Munich)
PROTECTOR” - PROtecting The barrier by Engagement of CyTOsolic nucleic acid Receptors

2018 Pietro Crivello
University Hospital Essen
Impact of HLA-DM mediated peptidome editing on the immunogenicity of HLA-DP alloantigens

2018 Elke Rücker-Braun
Technische Universität Dresden
NPM1mut-specific TCRs for immunotherapy in acute myeloid leukemia

2019 May Daher
MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston)
CIS checkpoint deletion in cord blood derived iC9.CAR19.IL-15-NK cells for the treatment of B-cell hematologic malignancies

2019 Natalie Köhler
Universtitätsklinikum Freiburg
Defensins as a Potential Treatment Option for Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease

2019 Kate Markey
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York)
Investigating the role of the microbiota in chronic GVHD and immune reconstitution after HCT

2019 Katarina Riesner
Charité- Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Mechanisms and therapeutic targets of endothelial damage during GVHD

Mechtild Harf Research Grant becomes John Hansen Research Grant

John Hansen Protrait

Out of appreciation and gratitude the DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden renamed its research program, with which it promotes highly talented junior scientists every year: The Mechtild Harf Research Grant is now called the John Hansen Research Grant.

Find more information here.