23.06.2014 change 23.06.2014

Prof. Mariusz Ratajczak awarded the Karl Landsteiner lectureship

Prof. Mariusz Ratajczak was awarded the Karl Landsteiner lectureship, granted by the German Society for Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology. The distinction is awarded every two years to researchers recognized for their achievements in the field of transfusion medicine and haemotherapy.

Prof. Mariusz Ratajczak is the first Pole to receive the distinction awarded by the German Society for Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Transfusionsmedizin und Immunhämatologie, DGTI). The award ceremony will be held on September 9, 2014, in Dresden, Germany.

The chapter awarded Prof. Ratajczak for characterization of the mechanisms involved in the mobilization of haematopoietic stem cells and discovery of very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs) in adult tissues.

The scholar is the author of the hypothesis, supported by experimental data obtained by his research teams in Poland and the U.S., demonstrating the presence of blood cells having the morphology and markers of embryonic cells capable of rebuilding other organs in mouse bone marrow and human umbilical cord. These cells may be an alternative source of embryonic cells to those which are currently produced by therapeutic cloning. They can thus be used in the regeneration of tissues and organs.

The researcher carries out research work in Poland and the U.S. For many years he was associated with the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In Poland, he worked in the Department of Cell Pathology, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin, co-founded and headed the Department of Transplantation, Jagiellonian University Medical College in Kraków, and the Centre for Transplantation, University Children\'s Hospital in Kraków. Since 2001 he works at the Department of Medicine and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Louisville, he is also the director of the Developmental Biology Research Program and of the Research Flow and Sorting Core Facility at the University of Louisville\'s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. Since 2006 he is head of the Department of Physiology, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin.

Over the 20 years of his career, Prof. Ratajczak has published more than 200 works, most of them published in renowned international journals. In 2003-2005, he coordinated a nationwide program for the use of non-embryonic stem cells and headed the EU-funded European Centre of Excellence for Stem Cell Research.

He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Foundation for Polish Science Prize, Nicolaus Copernicus Award granted by the Ministry of Health; J. Sniadecki Individual Award of the Polish Academy of Sciences; also awarded the honorary title of Hoenig Endowed Chair in Cancer Biology by the University of Louisville.

The Karl Landsteiner lectureship is awarded every two years since 1972. The recipients of this honour include 1996 Nobel Prize winner, Prof. Rolf Zinkernagel.

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