Science and Research

Mechtild Harf Science Award

Recognising the outstanding scientific work and research of physicians.


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 (European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation) Congress, 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 award winners

2020: Professor J H Fred Falkenburg (Germany)

J H Fred Falkenburg is Professor of Haematology and Deputy Head of the Department of Haematology at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) and one of the most important researchers in the field of immunotherapy of haematological diseases.

The results of research programs on bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy of haematological malignancies in the Laboratory of Experimental Haematology 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 leukaemia patient in 1968. Falkenburg has greatly contributed to finding better therapies during the last 32 years at the centre. In 2018, he was appointed Director of the Dutch Cancer Society.

2019: Dr Stephen J Forman (US)

Dr. Stephen J. Forman is regarded as one of the most renowned cancer physicians in the United States. An international expert in leukaemias, lymphomas, and stem cell transplants, he heads the Haematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Duarte, California.

In the more than 30 years he has spent there, Dr Forman has developed the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center into one of the most successful in the world. To date, the centre has hosted over 15,000 stem cell transplants for patients with blood cancer or other life-threatening diseases of the haematopoietic system.

2018: Professor Yair Reisner (Israel)

Professor Yair Reisner has worked at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel for over 30 years. He has made many ground-breaking contributions toward a better understanding of stem cell transplantation and specialised 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.

Award winners 2001-2017


  • Professor Dr med. Dr hc Dieter Hoelzer (Germany)
  • Richard Champlin, MD (US)


  • Katharina Fleischhauer (Germany)


  • John A Hansen (US)


  • Richard J O'Reilly (US)


  • Dennis L. Confer MD (US)
  • Professor Guido Lucarelli (Italy)


  • Karl Blume (Germany)


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


  • Rainer F Storb (US)


  • Jan van Rood MD PhD (Netherlands)


  • Mary Horowitz MD, MS (US)


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


  • Thomas E Donnal MD (US)


  • Eliane Gluckmann MD (France)


  • Effie Wang Petersdorf MD (US)


  • Dr Helmut Geiger (Germany)
Related articles
Help us find more donors
Everyone who needs a blood stem cell transplant must find their potential donor. Can you help?