Science and Research

Mechtild Harf Science Award

Recognizing the outstanding scientific work of world-class physicians.

Presented by the DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden (Foundation for Giving Life) since 2001, the annual DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award recognizes the outstanding scientific work and research of internationally renowned physicians in the field of stem cell transplantation.

By promoting medical progress in this area, new and better therapies can be found that ensure patients receive the best chance at long-term survival. The Mechtild Harf Science Award is traditionally presented during the EBMT Congress (European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation), in the presence of physicians and guests from all over the world. The EBMT Congress is one of the most important global conferences in the field of stem cell transplantation.

Previous winners


J. H. Fred Falkenburg is Professor of Hematology and Deputy Head of the Department of Hematology at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and one of the most important researchers in the field of immunotherapy of hematological diseases. The results of research programs on bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy of hematological malignancies in the Laboratory of Experimental Hematology at LUMC conducted under his direction have been translated into clinical success for the benefit of patients. LUMC has a long history in the treatment of blood cancer and was involved in the first successful bone marrow transplant carried out on a leukemia patient in 1968. Falkenburg has greatly contributed to finding better therapies during the last 32 years at the center. In 2018, he has been appointed Director of the Dutch Cancer Society.


Dr. Stephen J. Forman (USA)

Dr. Stephen J. Forman is regarded as one of the most renowned cancer physicians in the US. An international expert in leukemias, lymphomas, and stem cell transplants, he heads the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte (CA)/USA. During the 32 years he has spent there, he has developed the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center into one of the most successful in the world. To date, the center has hosted over 15,000 stem cell transplants for patients with blood cancer or other life-threatening diseases of the hematopoietic system.


Prof. Yair Reisner (ISR)

Prof. Yair Reisner has worked at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel for over 30 years. He has made many groundbreaking contributions toward a better understanding of stem cell transplantation and specialized in transplant immunology, in particular immune tolerance mechanisms in stem cell transplants and cell therapy. The findings of major research projects at the Yair Reisner Lab of the Weizmann Institute of Science have translated into clinical successes and benefited numerous patients.

Winners 2001-2017


  • Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Dieter Hoelzer (Germany)
  • Richard Champlin, MD (USA)


  • Katharina Fleischhauer (Germany)


  • John A. Hansen (USA)


  • Richard J. O'Reilly (USA)


  • Dennis L. Confer MD (USA)
  • Prof. Guido Lucarelli (Italy)


  • Karl Blume (Germany)


  • Prof. Dr. med. Dr. hc. mult. Theodor M. Fliedner (Germany)


  • Rainer F. Storb (USA)


  • Jan van Rood MD, PhD (Netherlands)


  • Mary Horowitz MD,MS (USA)


  • Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Jochem Kolb (Germany)


  • Thomas E. Donnal MD (USA)


  • Eliane Gluckmann MD (France)


  • Effie Wang Petersdorf MD (USA)


  • Dr. Helmut Geiger (Germany)
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