Our bodies are continually changing and the fact that stem cells are able to regenerate themselves means that in most tissue – be it in the intestines, the skin or the blood – new cells are constantly being created too. This is the way the tissue is preserved or heals after injury. Sieweke’s special field are the mechanisms of blood formation and he has produced internationally recognised work that could help to develop possible new approaches to cellular therapy. It was Sieweke, for example, who discovered an emergency mechanism which quickly responds to danger from serious infection and inflammation and supplies the body with new white blood cells. This demonstrated that when there are infections or inflammations stem cells can respond to messenger substances, triggering the production of special blood cells that fight the pathogens. The hope is that Sieweke’s research will one day mean the mechanism can be used in bone marrow transplants to help rebuild the immune system more quickly. His role as Humboldt Professor at Technische Universität Dresden will be to position the university more firmly in the field of tissue regeneration and, in particular, to drive translation, that is, the mid-term medical application of research.
Nominating University: Technische Universität Dresden
Prof. Dr. Michael H. Sieweke
Born in Germany in 1963, Michael H. Sieweke is a director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche (CNRS) Paris and a group leader at the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, France. He moved there after completing his Habilitation in Heidelberg, having studied at the University of Tübingen and taken a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Sieweke has been granted numerous fellowships and awards and is a member of scientific boards and associations such as the International Society of Stem Cell Research.