Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Immunoheamatology
Dr. Richard Schäfer, M.D., Assistant Professor
Specialist for Transfusion Medicine, Specialist for Internal Medicine

Head Department Cell Therapeutics & Cell Processing

Professional Career

Studies of Medicine (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Germany; Faculty of Clinical Medicine Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany)
Thesis „Molecular Biological Investigations on Enterococci with high level Resistance against Aminoglycosides” magna cum laude, 26 May 1997, Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene, Faculty of Clinical Medicine Mannheim - University of Heidelberg, Germany (Thesis advisor: Professor Dr. H. Hof, M.D.)
Clinical Specializations Internal Medicine (Mannheim, Ludwigsburg, Karlsruhe) and Transfusion Medicine (Tübingen).
Resident and Consultant in Transfusion Medicine, Department for Transfusion Medicine/Institute for Clinical and Experimental Transfusion Medicine, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany
Research Fellow
Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (SCRB)
(PI: Dr. Douglas A. Melton, Ph.D.)
Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A.
Visiting Assistant Professor, Head Development Stem Cell Therapeutics
CIRM Disease Team Stroke Neural Transplant Program
Department of Neurosurgery (Head: Dr. Gary K. Steinberg, M.D., Ph.D.)
Stanford Institute for Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences
Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, U.S.A.
since 2013
Assistant Medical Director, Head Department Cell Therapeutics & Cell Processing, Head of Quality Control (GMP), DRK-Blutspendedienst Baden-Württemberg-Hessen gGmbH, Institute Frankfurt/Main

Member Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
University of Maryland School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD, U.S.A.

Scientific Interest

  • Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs)
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs, ESCs)
  • immunomodulation
  • differentiation
  • homing

Membership in Scientific Societies

  • German Society for Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology (DGTI)
  • German Society for Internal Medicine (DGIM)
  • International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT)
  • AABB

Selected Publications
Research Investigations

  • Karlupia N, Chetty SP, Manley NC, Prasad K, Schäfer R*, Steinberg GKS*
    (*contributed equally). Intra-arterial transplantation of human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells is more efficacious and safer compared to umbilical cord mesenchymal stromal cells in a rodent stroke model.
    Stem Cell Research & Therapy 2014 accepted
  • Danielyan L, Beer-Hammer S, Stolzing A, Schäfer R, Siegel G, Fabian C, Kahle P, Biedermann T, Lourhmati A, Buadze M, Proksch B, Gleiter CH, Frey II, WH, Schwab M.
    Intranasal delivery of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells, macrophages and microglia to the brain in mouse models of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
    Cell Transplantation 2014 accepted
  • Schäfer R*, Mueller L* (*contributed equally), Buecheler R, Proksch B, Schwab M, Gleiter CH, Danielyan L.
    Interplay between endothelin and erythropoietin in astroglia: the role in protection against hypoxia.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2014 15(2), 2858-2875
  • Samuel R, Dahéron L, Liao S, Vardam T, Kamoun WS, Batista A, Buecker C, Schäfer R, Han X, Au P, Scadden DT, Duda DG, Fukumura D, Jain RK
    Generation of functionally competent and durable engineered blood vessels from human induced pluripotent stem cells.
    PNAS 2013; 110(31):12774-9
  • Siegel G, Kluba T, Hermanutz-Klein U, Bieback K, Northoff H, Schäfer R
    Phenotype, donor age and gender affect function of human bone marrow-derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells.
    BMC Medicine 2013, 11:146
  • Funk N, Wieghofer P, Grimm S, Schäfer R, Bühring HJ, Gasser T, Biskup S
    Characterization of peripheral hematopoietic stem cells and monocytes in Parkinson disease.
    Movement Disorders 2013;28(3):392-5
  • Rasini V, Dominici M, Kluba T, Siegel G, Lusenti G, Northoff H, Horwitz EM, Schäfer R
    Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells markers in the human bone marrow
    Cytotherapy. 2013;15(3):292-306.
  • Schneider CC, Ateschrang A, Königsrainer I, Glatzle J, Bühler S, Schäfer R, Northoff H, Königsrainer A, Zieker D
    Lactate Influences the gene expression profile of human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSC) in a dose dependant manner.
    Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 2012;30(6):1547-1556.
  • Mittag F, Straub M, Schäfer R, Kluba T, Ipach I
    No red cell alloimmunization or change of clinical outcome after using fresh frozen cancellous allograft bone for acetabular reconstruction in revision hip arthroplasty: a follow up study
    BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012, 13:187
  • Siegel G, Krause P, Wöhrle S, Nowak P, Ayturan M, Kluba T, Brehm BR, Neumeister B, Köhler D, Rosenberger P, Just L, Northoff H, Schäfer R
    Bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells express cardiomyogenic proteins but do not exhibit functional cardiomyogenic differentiation potential.
    Stem Cells and Development 2012;21(13):2457-70.
  • Schäfer R, Schnaidt M, Klaffschenkel R, Siegel G, Schüle M, Rädlein MA, Hermanutz-Klein U, Ayturan A, Buadze M, Gassner C, Danielyan L, Kluba T, Northoff N, Flegel WA
    Expression of blood group genes by mesenchymal stem cells.
    British Journal of Haematology 2011; 153(4): 520-28
  • Danielyan L, Schäfer R, von Ameln-Mayerhofer A, Bernhard F, Verleysdonk S, Buadze M, Lourhmati A, Klopfer T, Schaumann F, Schmid B, Koehle C, Proksch B, Weissert R, Reichardt HM, van den Brandt J, Buniatian GH, Schwab M, Gleiter CH, Frey WH
    Therapeutic efficacy of intranasally delivered mesenchymal stem cells in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease.
    Rejuvenation Research 2011; 14(1): 3-16
  • Pilz GA, Ulrich C, Ruh M, Abele H, Schäfer R, Kluba T, Bühring HJ, Rolauffs B, Aicher WK
    Human term placenta-derived mesenchymal stromal cells are less prone to osteogenic differentiation than bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells.
    Stem Cells and Development 2010; 20(4):635-46
  • Schäfer R, Bantleon R, Kehlbach R, Siegel G, Wiskirchen J, Wolburg H, Kluba T, Eibofner F, Northoff H, Claussen CD, Schlemmer HP
    Functional investigations on human mesenchymal stem cells exposed to magnetic fields and labeled with clinically approved iron nanoparticles.
    BMC Cell Biol. 2010;11:22.
  • Felka T, Schäfer R, De Zwart P, Aicher WK.
    Animal serum-free expansion and differentiation of human mesenchymal stromal cells.
    Cytotherapy. 2010; (2):143-53.
  • Danielyan L* and Schäfer R* (*contributed equally), Schulz A, Ladewig T, Lourhmati A, Buadze M, Schmitt AL, Burkhardt U, Verleysdonk S, Proksch B, Koeppen K, Kluba T, Schoeneberg T, Northoff H, Gleiter CH
    Survival, neuron-like differentiation and functionality of mesenchymal stem cells in neurotoxic environment: the critical role of erythropoietin.
    Cell Death and Differentiation 2009; (12):1599-614.
  • Danielyan L, Schäfer R, von Ameln-Mayerhofer A, Buadze M, Geisler J, Klopfer T, Burkhardt U, Proksch B, Verleysdonk S, Ayturan M, Buniatian GH, Gleiter CH, Frey WH
    Intranasal delivery of cells to the brain.
    European Journal of Cell Biology 2009 88(6):315-24
  • Felka T; Schäfer R; Schewe B; Benz K; Aicher WK
    Hypoxia reduces the inhibitory effect of IL-1 beta on chondrogenic differentiation of FCS-free expanded MSC.
    Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2009 (10):1368-76.
  • Schäfer R, Kehlbach R, Müller M, Bantleon R, Kluba T, Ayturan M, Siegel G, Wolburg H, Hermanutz-Klein U, Markulin M, Northoff H, Dietz K, Claussen CD, Wiskirchen J
    Labeling of human mesenchymal stromal cells with superparamagnetic iron oxide leads to a decrease in migration capacity and colony formation ability.
    Cytotherapy 2009;11(1):68-78.
  • Schäfer R, Ayturan M, Bantleon R, Kehlbach R,Siegel G, Pintaske J,Conrad S, Wolburg H, Northoff H, Wiskirchen J, Weissert R
    The use of clinically approved small particles of iron oxide (SPIO) for labelling of mesenchymal stem cells aggravates clinical symptoms in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and influences their in vivo distribution.
    Cell Transplantation 2008; 17:923-941.
  • Löb S, Königsrainer A, Schäfer R, Rammensee HG, Opelz G, Terness P
    Levo- but not dextro-1-methyl tryptophan abrogates the IDO activity of human dendritic cells.
    Blood. 2008 Feb 15;111(4):2152-4.
  • Zieker D, Schäfer R, Glatzle J, Nieselt K, Coerper S, Kluba T, Northoff H, Königsrainer A, Hunt TK, Beckert S
    Lactate modulates gene expression in human mesenchymal stem cells
    Langenbecks Arch Surg 2008; 393(3):297-301
  • Schäfer R, Wiskirchen J, Guo K, Neumann B, Kehlbach R, Pintaske J, Voth V, Walker T, Scheule AM, Greiner TO, Hermanutz-Klein U, Claussen CD, Northoff H, Ziemer G, Wendel HP.
    Aptamer-based isolation and subsequent imaging of mesenchymal stem cells in ischemic myocard by magnetic resonance imaging.
    Rofo. 2007; (10):1009-15.
  • Schäfer R, Kehlbach R, Wiskirchen J, Bantleon R, Pintaske J, Brehm BR, Gerber A, Wolburg H, Claussen CD, Northoff H
    Transferrin Receptor Upregulation: In Vitro Labeling of Rat Mesenchymal Stem Cells with Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide
    Radiology. 2007; 244(2):514-23.
  • Löb S, Ebner S, Wagner S, Weinreich J, Schäfer R, Königsrainer A
    Are IDO producing human dendritic cells a good tool for suppression of allogeneic T-cell responses?
    Transplantation 2007;83(4):468-73
  • Guo KT, Schäfer R, Paul A, Gerber A, Ziemer G, Wendel HP.
    A new technique for the isolation and surface immobilisation of mesenchymal stem cells from whole bone marrow using high specific DNA-aptamers.
    Stem Cells 2006; (24): 2220-2231
  • Lang PA, Beringer O, Nicolay JP, Amon O, Kempe DS, Hermle T, Attanasio P, Akel A, Schäfer R, Friedrich B, Risler T, Baur M, Olbricht CJ, Zimmerhackl LB, Zipfel PF, Wieder T, Lang F.
    Suicidal death of erythrocytes in recurrent hemolytic-uremic syndrome.
    J Mol Med 2006, 84(5):378-88

Book Chapters and Reviews

  • Jones E, Schäfer R
    Biological differences between native and cultured mesenchymal stem cells – Implications for therapies.
    Stem Cell Protocols, Springer 2013
  • Schäfer R
    Does the adult Stroma contain Stem Cells?
    Adv. Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology
    Mesenchymal stem cells - basics and clinical application, Springer 2012
  • Schäfer R, Dahéron L
    Adult non-hematopoietic stem cells and progenitor cells in “Handbook of Stem Cell Based Tissue Repair” Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, U.K. 2010
    DOI: 10.1039/978-1-84973-001-3
  • Henschler R, Deak E, Schäfer R
    Homing of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in “Handbook of Stem Cell Based Tissue Repair” Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, U.K. 2010
    DOI: 10.1039/978-1-84973-001-3
  • Schäfer R
    Labeling and Imaging of Stem Cells - Promises and Concerns
    Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy 2010;37(2):85-89.
  • Siegel G, Schäfer R, Dazzi F
    The immunosuppressive Properties of Mesenchymal Stem Cells.
    Transplantation 2009; 87(9 Suppl):S45-9.
  • Schäfer R, Dominici M, Müller I, Horwitz E, Bulte JWM, Bieback K, Le Blanc K, Bühring HJ, Capogrossi MC, Danielyan L, Dazzi F, Gorodetsky R, Henschler R, Handgretinger R, Kajstura J, Kluger P, Lange C, Mertsching H, Schrezenmeier H, Verfaillie C, Northoff H
    Basic Research and Clinical Applications of Non-Hematopoietic Stem Cells, 04-05 April 2008, Tübingen, Germany.
    Cytotherapy 2009;11(2):245-55.
  • Schäfer R, Northoff H
    Cardioprotection and Cardiac Regeneration by Mesenchymal Stem Cells.
    Panminerva Medica 2008;50(1):31-9.
  • Schäfer R, Northoff H
    Characteristics of MSC - new stars in regenerative medicine or unrecognized old fellows in autologous regeneration?
    Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy 2008; 35(1):154-158
  • Sievert KD, Feil G, Renninger M, Selent C, Maurer S, Conrad S, Hennenlotter J, Nagele U, Schäfer R, Möhle R, Skutella T, Northoff H, Seibold J, Stenzl A.
    [Tissue engineering and stem cell research in urology for a reconstructive or regenerative treatment approach.]
    Urologe A. 2007;46(9):1224-30
  • Schäfer R, Dominici M, Müller I, Dazzi F, Bieback K, Godthardt K, Le Blanc K, Meisel R, Pochampally R, Richter R, Skutella T, Steinhoff G, Mitterberger M, Wendel H, Wiskirchen J, Handgretinger R, Northoff H
    Progress in characterization, preparation and clinical applications of non-hematopoietic stem cells, 29-30 September 2006,Tübingen, Germany.
    Cytotherapy. 2007;9(4):397-405.
  • Guo KT, Schäfer R, Paul A, Ziemer G, Wendel HP Aptamer-based strategies for stem cell research.
    Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 2007; (7) 7:701-705

Dr. Richard Schäfer, M.D.,
Assistant Professor

Head Department
Cell Therapeutics & Cell Processing

Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology
Tel.: +49 (0) 69 6782-191
Fax: +49 (0) 69 6782-259