About DKMS

Meet our Foundation Board

The DKMS Stiftung Leben Spenden (Foundation for Giving Life) exclusively and directly pursues non-profit and charitable purposes.


It achieves its purpose in particular by:

  • Taking measures and promoting institutions to improve patient care (support and after-care)
  • Recruiting and supporting informed volunteers who are willing to donate bone marrow or blood stem cells for the purpose of transplantation
  • Developing and maintaining systems to simplify and accelerate the search for donors with the purpose of finding matching donors for bone marrow and blood stem cell transplantations
  • Financially supporting scientific research in the field of bone marrow and blood stem cell transplantation with non-related donors, with test methods of histocompatibility, for stem cell expansion and gene therapy
  • Taking measures and promoting institutions for vocational training in the area of bone marrow or stem cell transplantation, in particular, medical specialists, clinical staff, search coordinators, the staff of donor centers and registries, scientists, geneticists, medical ethicists, and laboratory staff
  • Promoting the cooperation of all institutions active in the area of the Foundation’s purpose
  • Publicly working to achieve the purpose of the Foundation.

Foundation Board Members

Katharina Harf, Chairwoman of the DKMS Foundation Board

For Katharina Harf, DKMS and the fight against blood cancer have been her life’s passion since the age of 14. After losing her mother to leukaemia, Katharina put her focus into education, ultimately moving to the United States and graduating from Harvard cum laude. With her degree in hand, Katharina returned to DKMS, the company her father founded in the wake of her mother’s death, with a desire to expand the reach and impact of their life-saving work.

“This has been and always will be personal for me. The memory of my mother will remain with me forever and will continue to fuel my effort to bring hope to families like mine, because at the end of the day that’s what this is about. Our 10 million donors are more than just some large, abstract number. They are 10 million reasons for hope. For one family out there, searching for a lifesaving match for their loved one, our donors represent one simple thing; the possibility that there is one person that could make all the difference.”

After helping her father found the first international branch of DKMS in New York City, Katharina took on a number of positions to help get the fledgling office on its feet. From managing the organizations PR and Marketing departments to acting as CEO, Katharina’s passion for the well-being of patients and their families and her dedication to increasing awareness around the cause helped DKMS quickly grow, with over one million registered donors in the US. Katharina is the Chairwoman of the Foundation Board of DKMS, acting as the public face of the organization. In addition to the current scope of her global duties, Katharina is also, overseeing operations and strategy for the country’s offices.

Marcel R.M. van den Brink, MD, PhD, Vice Chairman of the DKMS Foundation Board and Chairman of the DKMS Medical Council

Marcel R.M. van den Brink, MD, PhD, is a leading oncologist with extensive experience in both laboratory and clinical research, specializing in strategies to improve allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). He is the President and Chief Physician Executive at City of Hope Los Angeles and National Medical Center, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States.

Laurence David Atlas

Laurence David Atlas is a senior executive and attorney. He is the Special Counsel at the Office of the General Counsel at the Federal Communications Commission, an independent United States government agency regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.

Niren Chaudhary

Niren Chaudhary is Chairman of the Board of Panera Brands, one of the world’s largest fast casual restaurant companies with nearly 4,000 locations in 10 countries. Niren’s daughter Aisha was born with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). When she was six months old, she had to undergo a bone marrow transplant. As a side effect of the medical therapy following chemotherapy, she developed pulmonary fibrosis – a type of condition that causes irreversible scarring of the lungs. She died at the age of 18. Niren dedicates his personal time serving on the Tufts Medical Centre Board and as an advocate for DKMS.

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

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dieter Hoelzer was the Director of the Department of Hematology/Oncology, Rheumatology and Infectious Diseases at the Frankfurt University Hospital for more than 20 years. He has extensive clinical experience with inpatient and outpatient treatment of all hematological/oncological and internal diseases. Prof. Hoelzer is one of the most renowned haematologists and specialists in the field of acute lymphatic leukaemia. He was also awarded with the DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award in 2017.

Prof. Dr. Carl H. June

Prof. Dr. Carl H. June has been a pioneer in the field of immunotherapy, most widely known for the development of T-cell therapy for cancer. His work led to the development and commercialization of tisagenlecleucel, the first FDA-approved cell therapy. He is currently the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. In 2020 he was elected to the American Philosophical Society. He was honored with the DKMS Mechtild Harf Award in 2023 for his outstanding achievements in cancer immunology.

Anna-Lena Kamenetzky-Wetzel

Anna-Lena Kamenetzky-Wetzel is a former Partner and Head of Business Development at JAB Holding in Washington, DC as well as former Co-Head of JAB Consumer Partners. Consequently, she founded and runs K4 Family Investments, an investment company focused on backing growth companies in consumer goods and services. She serves on the Boards of Kitu Life, Inc (owner of the brand Super Coffee), Fuzzy and Project Pollo.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Klingebiel, Vice Chairman of the DKMS Medical Council and Senior Advisor Access to Transplantation

Thomas Klingebiel, MD, was Director of the Clinic for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the Frankfurt University Hospital of the Goethe University from 2000-2021. The Clinic for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine also includes the focus areas of pediatric oncology, hematology and hemostaseology and the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Center Frankfurt; it is considered one of the best in Germany. Since July 1, 2021, he has been managing director of the Frankfurt-based association Hilfe für krebskranke Kinder Frankfurt e.V. (Help for Children with Cancer Frankfurt).

Alejandro Santo Domingo

Alejandro Santo Domingo is the Managing Director of Quadrant Capital Advisors Inc. in New York. He is also a member of the Board of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Chairman of Bavaria S.A., member of the Board of Backus & Johnston SAA in Peru, Director of Caracol Televisión and Fundación Mario Santo Domingo.

Meet our dedicated leadership teams.