As a leading organization in the fight against blood cancer and blood disorders, we are highly committed, on the medical and scientific level, to saving as many patients’ lives as possible.
We want to help increase the chances of success during treatment. In recognition of the outstanding scientific work and research being undertaken by internationally renowned physicians in the field of stem cell donation and transplantation, DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden (Foundation for Giving Life) has presented the DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award annually since 2001. Winners of the prestigious award receive €10,000. 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 award is named after Mechtild Harf, mother of two children, who lost her battle with leukemia. Her husband Peter Harf founded DKMS in 1991 and ever since, for their daughter Katharina Harf, Chairwoman of the DKMS Foundation Board, DKMS and the fight against blood diseases have been her life’s mission.
Prof. Dr. Ricardo Pasquini
“It is a great honor for me to receive the award and I am grateful to be acknowledged by DKMS. I accept this award with deep gratitude to my colleagues, without whom my life’s work achievements would not have been possible.”
Ricardo Pasquini is Emeritus Professor of Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology at the Federal University of Paraná in Curitiba. He has been the Head of the Department of Internal Medicine and thereafter Head of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the university hospital for almost 30 years. At the same institution Pasquini successfully established the Bone Marrow Transplant Center that achieved excellence in research and clinical care. Under his direction the center has provided top-level care for patients from diagnosis to treatment and still continues to do so.
In 1993, his team was responsible for the first transplantation of umbilical cord blood stem cells in Latin America, and in 1995 he performed the first transplantation from an unrelated donor in Brazil. Over the course of his long career, the founding member of the Brazilian Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation trained generations of specialists who have become international leaders in their field.
2021: Prof. Dr. Massimo Fabrizio Martelli
“I am sincerely honored by this recognition of my lifelong work, which has been so rewarding in and of itself. Being selected to receive the DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award 2021 took me completely by surprise. It is with deep gratitude that I accept this prestigious honor and I am overwhelmed to follow in the illustrious footsteps of previous award winners.”
Professor Martelli is an outstanding haematologist, innovative scientist and a pioneer in haploidentical transplantation. His studies on approaches to reduce the risk of graft-versus-host disease while preserving graft-versus-leukemia effects have been enormously fruitful for the further development of medical science in this field. Martelli facilitated successful stem cell transplantations for high-risk patients with acute leukemia without compatible donors and conducted the first successful clinical trial on haploidentical stem cell transplantation in 1993, and to this day his research has had a great impact on the lives of patients with blood cancer. He has been Professor at the University of Perugia and Head of the Department of Oncology and Hematology. During his 30 years at the university, together with a group of brilliant young scientists, Martelli established a department that achieved excellence in research and clinical care.
2020: Prof. Dr. J. H. Fred Falkenburg
“I am truly honored to receive the DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award – and thus to be among the prizewinners who have dedicated their work and lives to the fight against leukemia. It is an even greater honor to be placed in such distinguished ranks as those of the past honorees, all of whom have made important contributions to improve blood cancer treatment. Furthermore, I am very pleased to help fund research on leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma by donating the prize money to Doelfonds Leukemie van de Bontius Stichting, the Charity Fund of the Department of Hematology at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC).”
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 his 32 years at the center. In 2018, he was appointed Director of the Dutch Cancer Society.
2019: Stephen J. Forman, MD
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 world’s most successful. 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.
2018: Prof. Dr. Yair Reisner
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.
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Dieter Hoelzer (Germany)
Richard Champlin, MD (USA)
Prof. Dr. Katharina Fleischhauer (Germany)
John A. Hansen, MD (USA)
Richard J. O’Reilly, MD (USA)
Dennis L. Confer, MD (USA)
Prof. Dr. Guido Lucarelli (Italy)
Prof. Dr. Karl-Georg Blume (Germany)
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. mult. Theodor M. Fliedner (Germany)
Rainer F. Storb, MD, PhD (USA)
Jon van Rood, MD, PhD (Netherlands)
Mary M. Horowitz, MD, MS (USA)
Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Jochem Kolb (Germany)
E. Donnall Thomas, MD (USA)
Eliane Gluckmann, MD (France)
Effie Wang Petersdorf, MD (USA)
Dr. Helmut Geiger (Germany)
Anita Waldmann (Germany)