Histo­ry of the ZKRD

Pionee­ring work in Ulm

In 1989, Prof. Shra­ga Gold­mann and Dr. Carl­heinz Mül­ler began collec­ting the pseud­ony­mi­zed data of vol­un­ta­ry donors from blood banks around Ger­ma­ny. The aim of their pionee­ring work, based in Ulm, was to make the search for stem cell donors easier.
They deve­lo­ped a data­ba­se for donor pro­files and a com­pu­ter pro­gram for selec­ting sui­ta­ble donors from the data­ba­se. Sup­por­ted by the Ste­fan Morsch Foun­da­ti­on, this was the first step towards estab­li­shing a cen­tra­li­zed stem cell donor regis­try for Germany.

Natio­nal and inter­na­tio­nal networking

During this ear­ly pha­se, the team in Ulm was alrea­dy working with inter­na­tio­nal regis­tries such as the Dut­ch Bone Mar­row Donors World­wi­de (BMDW) initia­ti­ve and the French Euro­pean Donor Secre­ta­ri­at to expand its data­ba­se – of 2,000 ent­ries – and impro­ve the elec­tro­nic net­work bet­ween the data­ba­ses. By 1991, the data­ba­se had grown to almost 50,000 ent­ries owing to the invest­ment of Ger­man Can­cer Aid in HLA-DR typ­ing. Mean­while, Ger­man stem cell donor cen­ters had star­ted acti­ve recruit­ment of vol­un­ta­ry donors. Hence, the foun­da­ti­on for the Ger­man stem cell donor sys­tem had been laid in the form of a cen­tral regis­try with inter­na­tio­nal links.

Foun­da­ti­on of the ZKRD

At the end of 1991, the Ger­ma­ny Federal Minis­try of Health (BMG) also began to encou­ra­ge the dona­ti­on of stem cells. For the donor search to be effi­ci­ent, orga­niz­a­tio­nal struc­tures for dona­ti­on and trans­plan­ta­ti­on had to be crea­ted in par­al­lel to donor recruit­ment and typ­ing. The preli­mi­na­ry efforts of the Ulm working group resul­ted in the Ger­man Red Cross Blood Donor Ser­vice of Baden-Würt­tem­berg of the time being com­mis­sio­ned to estab­lish a nati­on­wi­de stem cell donor regis­try con­tai­ning pseud­ony­mi­zed donor data, and deve­lop an effec­ti­ve donor search sys­tem. Con­se­quent­ly, the Cen­tral Ger­man Bone Mar­row Donor Regis­try (ZKRD) was foun­ded in May 1992.

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