We believe that our support for young medical and scientific talents is a critical investment in the future. For this reason, the DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden awards the John Hansen Research Grant (formerly: Mechtild Harf Research Grant).
Launched in 2015, the John Hansen Research Grant (known until 2019 as the Mechtild Harf Research Grants) is intended to provide financial support to as many as four talented young scientific researchers. The grants are worth €240,000 ($270,000) for each recipient, spread over a period of three years. Applicants must have completed their doctorate within the last twelve years. The research area of the project they submit should be in the field of stem cell therapy, and it must aim to effectively support and advance the fight against blood cancer long-term.
In 2019, the grants were renamed in honour of John A. Hansen, who dedicated his life’s work to the causes of graft-versus-host disease and the fight against it. Hansen was an outstanding oncologist, an excellent immunogeneticist at the renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and a compassionate and empathetic physician. His outstanding achievements in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation were instrumental in making blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants more effective and safer – giving numerous patients a second chance at life.
As a long-standing member of the Board of the DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden (Foundation for Giving Life) and the DKMS Medical Council, Hansen was an integral part of the DKMS family. That is why, after he passed away on July 31, 2019, at the age of 76, the Mechtild Harf Research Grants were renamed in his honour.
Dr. Youli Ktena of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, one of the 2020 fellows
"It is a great honour and privilege to have been awarded the John Hansen Research Grant. The grant will allow me to further my research. My goal is to use it to make stem cell transplantation safer for patients who need this powerful and life-saving form of therapy."