About DKMS

About us

Our story begins in 1991, when our founder, Dr. Peter Harf, lost his wife Mechtild to leukemia. Peter promised his wife to help everyone in need of a stem cell donation to find a matching donor.

At that time, there were only 3,000 potential stem cell donors available in Germany. Peter founded DKMS Germany, and within just one year the number of potential donors increased to 68,000.

This was reason enough for our founder to believe in his vision – to delete blood cancer and to give every blood cancer patient a second chance at life. In 2004, we embarked on our international journey by establishing offices in the Americas, and we continued the expedition with openings in 2009 in Poland, in 2011 in Spain and in 2013 in the UK.

Our vision

We delete blood cancer! We want to give everyone in need of a stem cell donation a second chance at life.

DKMS -- Was uns antreibt

The fate of patients like Michelle and Nina is our driving force. A stem cell donation can save the life of someone who is suffering from blood cancer.

15 year old Michelle was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL). Thanks to a stem cell donation Michelle can now lead a normal life again. “I would never have thought that I would be able to experience this!”

Our mission

We recruit donors
We recruit, retain and motivate donors to help find a matching donor for everyone in need of a stem cell donation.

We provide access to treatment
We are committed to providing everyone in need of a stem cell donation with access to the treatment they need.

We help to improve therapies
We support and perform research to help advance blood cancer treatment and improve the survival rate of patients.

We care about patients
We maximize patients’ well-being!

What we do

DKMS - Wir besiegen Blutkrebs

• We create awareness of blood cancer and blood cancer treatment.
• We recruit stem cell donors to give those in need of a stem cell donation a second chance at life.
• We engage the public as well as companies to organize donor registration events.
• We raise funds to increase both the size and diversity of the worldwide pool of available stem cell donors.
• We help to improve blood cancer treatment – through our own research and state-of-the-art technology in our laboratory.
• We maintain our donor relationship from day one of registration until stem cell donation.

OUR FUNDING

The costs for registering new donors are not assumed by the health-care system. Every euro counts in the fight against blood cancer because every registration of a new donor alone costs DKMS €35. You can get involved too! We need your help!

DKMS’s funding rests on two pillars: the monetary donations from individuals and businesses, and reimbursements from the health care systems for maintaining the donor database and for successfully matching a stem cell donor to a blood cancer patient in need of a donation.

Thanks to our dual funding strategy and our operational efficiency, DKMS is an economically viable nonprofit company that is self-sustaining and can work independently of public funds. However, despite all our successes, DKMS relies on financial support from donors who provide funds for the expansion of the database.

EXECUTIVE BOARD

Every 35 seconds, someone somewhere in the world is diagnosed with blood cancer. DKMS gives hope to those in need of a stem cell donation, by providing people all around the world with a second chance at life. An international exchange system ensures that the search for a matching stem cell donor is carried out globally and if necessary, the stem cell donation crosses borders.

Dr. Dr. Christoph Glaser

Christoph Glaser - Executive Chairman

Executive Chairman

We help across borders

41% of all stem cell donations worldwide are enabled by DKMS. To work towards our goal of finding a matching donor for everyone in need of a stem cell donation, we need to continue to grow and register potential donors from all over the world.

We are international

Every day, over 850 DKMS employees around the world are committed to giving more people in need of a stem cell donation a second chance at life.

OUR MANAGEMENT BODIES

DR. DR. ALEXANDER SCHMIDT

Dr. Dr. Alexander Schmidt

Chief Medical Officer

SIRKO GEIST

Sirko Geist

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Elke Neujahr

Elke Neujahr

Chief Operating Officer

DRAZEN BOPP

Drazen Bopp - CIO

Chief Information Officer

Kristin Breuer

Kristin Breuer, VP Governmental and Public Affairs

Vice President Governmental & Public Affairs

Daniel Knoll

Daniel Knoll, Vice President Human Resources

Vice President Human Resources

For a future with more blood cancer survivors!

To work towards our goal of finding a matching donor for everyone in need of a stem cell donation, we need to continue to grow our community of potential donors worldwide. DKMS Germany belongs to a network of organizations under the umbrella of the DKMS Foundation for Giving Life.

Our Structure

The DKMS Foundation for Giving Life, the parent organization of DKMS, has been in existence since 1997.

The global DKMS Family

Every 35 seconds, someone somewhere in the world is diagnosed with blood cancer. DKMS gives hope to those in need of a stem cell donation, by providing people all around the world with a second chance at life.

OUR TEAMS

We are over 850 people, representing more than 20 nationalities and located in 5 countries, dedicated to giving everyone in need of a stem cell donation a second chance at life.

 

In order to improve support and assistance for patients and family members, the foundation supports, among other things, the national patient conference of the DLH Deutsche Leukämie- und Lymphom-Hilfe e.V. (“German leukemia and lymphoma aid”). The foundation publishes a total of five volumes of booklets under the title Der Rote Ratgeber (“the red guide”) for patients and family members on the topics of blood cancer and stem cell donation.

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF DKMS FOUNDATION FOR GIVING LIFE


Dr. Peter Harf (Founder)

Dr. Dr. Christoph Glaser (Chairman of the Board)

Prof. Richard Champlin, MD (Vice Chairman of the Board)

Laurence Atlas

Prof. Marcel van den Brink, MD, PhD

Alexandre Van Damme

Prof. John Hansen, MD

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dieter Hoelzer

Dr. Antonella Mei-Pochtler

Alejandro Santo Domingo

Patrice de Talhouët

 

DKMS in USA
• Active since 2004
• Office in New York City
Visit DKMS USA

DKMS in Polska
• Active since 2009
• Office in Warsaw
Visit DKMS Polska

DKMS in Chile
• Active since 2018
• Office in Santiago
Visit DKMS Chile

DKMS in UK
• Active since 2012
• Office in London
Visit DKMS UK

SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

Scientific research is vital in helping to understand the treatment of blood cancer and improve the survival rate of patients. DKMS performs and supports research projects and quality programs on an international level, in order to optimize our work and improve the outcome for those in need of a stem cell donation.

 

Quality programs are used to ensure the continuous development and improvement in both the quality and the quantity of potential donors registered with DKMS. We are committed to efficiency and finding a matching donor for everyone in need of a stem cell donation as quickly as possible. Optimizing the quality of donor data is therefore one of our top priorities. By developing our own search algorithm, the Hap-E Search (Haplotype-Enhanced Search), we use patient findings to identify potential donors, identify suitable mismatch donors (with slight deviations in matching tissue characteristics) and enable automated searches. Other DKMS quality programs include the new typing of old donor data at our own expense, the targeted search for replacement donors and the ancestry program – which is used to find donors with rare combinations of tissue characteristics.

 

The Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) was founded in 2013 in Dresden, Germany, with the goal of promoting innovative research in the field of blood cancer. The department supports and performs research projects in order to help understand the implications of blood cancer treatment and improve the outcome for patients. Fundamental research, as well as international and interdisciplinary collaboration, is essential for this purpose.

Learn more about the Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)

DKMS Annual Reports

DKMS Jahresbericht

The annual report 2017 contains the statutes of DKMS and detailed financial information. You will learn how and what DKMS uses its income and expenditures for.

Our annual report 2016 describes in detail how DKMS came to be, what we are specifically doing for blood cancer patients, and what role DKMS plays in the global fight against blood cancer.

Working for DKMS

The DKMS group is the world’s largest international network of donor centers and grows steadily every year. Our goal is to find a matching donor for everyone in need of a stem cell donation. In addition to donor recruitment activities, we improve the quality and quantity of available donors and support innovative research and projects. In order to achieve our goals, we need support in the fight against blood cancer.

View job openings

DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award

The DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award is presented annually by the DKMS Foundation for Giving Life. The award recognizes the outstanding achievements of internationally renowned individuals in the field of stem cell transplantation.

2018: Prof. Yair Reisner (ISR)

Prof. Yair Reisner & Richard Champlin, MD

2017: Dieter Hoelzer (GER) & Richard Champlin (USA)

Dieter Hoelzer (GER) & Richard Champlin (USA)
 

2018
Prof. Yair Reisner (ISR)

2017
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Dieter Hoelzer (GER)
Richard Champlin, MD (USA)

2016
Katharina Fleischhauer (GER)

2015
John A. Hansen (USA)

2014
Richard J. O'Reilly (USA)

2013
Dennis L. Confer MD (USA)
Prof. Guido Lucarelli (ItA)

2011
Karl Blume (GER)

2010
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. hc. mult. Theodor M. Fliedner (GER)

2009
Rainer F. Storb (USA)

2008
Jan van Rood MD, PhD (NED)

2007
Mary Horowitz MD,MS (USA)

2006
Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Jochem Kolb (GER)

2005
Thomas E. Donnal MD (USA)

2004
Eliane Gluckmann MD (FRA)

2002
Efffie Wang Petersdorf MD (USA)

2001
Dr. Helmut Geiger (GER)

Our sponsors and partners

Every year, the commitment of organizations and companies plays a crucial role in the steady growth of our database and in increasing the chances at life for patients. As they prefer, companies can support us as sponsors or long-term cooperation partners.

Other ways to help

There are many ways to support our fight against blood cancer.

Register as a stem cell donor. You may save someone's life.

Your money donation can save lives.

Follow us on social networks and share our appeals.