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Paper describing universal stem cell product earns author the 2014 SCTM Young Investigator Award

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STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM) presented Marc H. Dahlke, M.D., Ph.D. its second annual STEM CELLS Translational Medicine Young Investigator Award. The award fosters advancements in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine by honoring a young researcher who is principle author of an article published in SCTM over the course of a year that is deemed to have the most impact and to push the boundaries of novel and insightful research.

Dr. Dahlke’s paper describes the discovery of a universal stem cell product that not only seems to increase the long-term survival of organ transplants in instances when the donor is not related to the recipient, but also retains that immunological privileged state when the organ is then transplanted into yet another unrelated recipient. The paper was published in the August 2013 issue of SCTM.

“This excellent study by Dr. Dahlke and his co-authors demonstrate the potential for multipotent adult progenitor cells to serve as a universal cell product. Being able to reduce the level of immunosuppressant drugs post-transplant could have significant benefits to patients,” said Anthony Atala, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of SCTM. “This study represents a promising pathway for clinical immunotherapy, and I congratulate our Young Investigator Award winner on this important accomplishment.”

Dr. Dahlke is a lecturer for experimental surgery at Regensburg University, Germany, and an attending surgeon at Regensburg University Medical Center. He received both his M.D. (in 2002) and his Ph.D. (2004) from Hannover Medical School, where he was enrolled in the program for molecular medicine. He went on to receive specialty training in surgery as a fellow at the University of Sydney (Australia) and at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York (US).

Currently, his lab in Regensburg focuses on the immunobiology of mesenchymal stem cells and the use of stem cell products for clinical application in solid organ transplantation and other indications. His group publishes regularly in this field, and Dr. Dahlke is the principal investigator of the first phase I study applying a mesenchymal stem cell product to liver transplant recipients.

He also is the founder of the MiSOT network (www.misot.eu), which aims to bring together academic and commercial research with the goal of bringing mesenchymal stem cell therapies to the transplantation clinic. He also serves as a reviewer for numerous journals in the immunology field.    

The STEM CELLS Translational Medicine Young Investigator Award, which includes a $10,000 cash incentive, is co-sponsored by CIRM and Quintiles in cooperation with the Regenerative Medicine Foundation. Its winner is selected each year by the journal’s editorial board, made up of leading experts in the field of regenerative medicine worldwide.