The sad passing of DKMS board member John A. Hansen

2 August 2019

We were very saddened to learn of the passing of John A. Hansen, a member of the DKMS Foundation Board and Medical Council who passed away at the age of 76. Hanson was a long standing supporter of DKMS and was deeply committed to our fight against blood cancer and disorders. He leaves behind his wife and children.

In 2015 Hansen, a US national, was awarded the DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award in recognition of his important research into the efficacy of blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants as life-saving therapy for blood cancer patients.

John was also an outstanding oncologist and immune-geneticist, and made major advances into improving the success and efficacy of stem cell transplants in blood cancer patients. His particular focus was in deepening our understanding of genetic variations within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) impact transplant success. He carried out numerous clinical trials into the role genes play into regulating cellular immune responses.

As one of the team around Nobel prize winner E.D. Thomas at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he also held other prestigious medical titles, including; head of the Department for Human Immuno-genetics in the Clinical Research Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Not only was John an outstanding medical expert but also a deeply compassionate person who demonstrated great empathy and understanding when treating his patients; his priority was always to put their wellbeing first.

As a Board Member with the DKMS Foundation, he supported the development and expansion of DKMS to other countries with a deep commitment and passion. His legacy has enabled patients from around the world a second chance at life and, for us to continue our research into the enhancement of stem cell transplantations.

He will be sadly missed by everyone at DKMS.