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Prof. Dr. Aleksandra Wodnar-Filipowicz


Prof. Dr. Aleksandra Wodnar-Filipowicz
Basel Stem Cell Center of Competence
Medical Faculty
University of Basel
Klingelbergstrasse 61
CH-4056 Basel



Phone +41 61 265 33 87

Aleksandra Wodnar-Filipowicz is Professor for Experimental Hematology. She acts as Co-ordinator of the Basel Stem Cell Network (BSCN) at the University of Basel. Her research interests focus on understanding the interactions of normal and cancer stem cells in the bone marrow microenvironment. One aim is to study mechanisms which regulate the recovery of normal bone marrow function after hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation. In particular, she is interested in a role of the hematopoietic cytokine, flt3 ligand, in the regeneration of bone marrow function after myelosuppression and HSC transplantation. Using mouse models genetically deficient in niche components, the group studies mechanisms which control the leukemic stem cells within the bone marrow microenvironment. These studies are now being extended to the analysis of bone marrow involvement in metastases of mammary carcinoma (collaboration with Nancy Hynes at the Friedrich Miescher Institute of BIomedical Research in Basel). The second aim of the studies addresses the anti-leukemic potential of natural killer (NK) cells. A transplantation model of human leukemia in immunodeficient NOD/SCID mice has been established to perform adoptive transfer of NK cells and to study the cooperative effect of histone deacetylase inhibitors on reducing the tumor load in vivo. These approaches provide the basis for the ongoing collaborative clinical study with the Stem Cell Transplant Team of the Clinical and Diagnostic Hematology of the University Hospital Basel. This clinical study uses NK cells, activated and expanded ex vivo, as cellular immunotherapy to enhance the graft-versus-leukemia effect and prevent disease relapse after HSC transplantation.

Selected recent original publications

  • Kenins L, Gill JW, Holländer GA. and Wodnar-Filipowicz A. (2010). Flt3 ligand-receptor interaction is important for maintenance of early thymic progenitor numbers in steady-state thymopoiesis. Eur J Immunol. 40:81-90.
  • Siegler U, Meyer-Monard S, Jörger S, Stern M, Tichelli A, Gratwohl A, Wodnar-Filipowicz A. and Kalberer CP. (2010). Good manufacturing practice-compliant cell sorting and large-scale expansion of single KIR-positive alloreactive human natural killer cells for multiple infusions to leukemia patients. Cytotherapy 12:750-63.
  • Himmelreich H, Mathys A, Wodnar-Filipowicz A. and Kalberer CP. (2011). Post-transcriptional regulation of ULBP1 ligand for the activating immunoreceptor NKG2D involves 3' untranslated region. Hum Immunol. 72:470-8.
  • Jerez A, Clemente MJ, Makishima H, Rajala H, Gómez-Seguí I, Olson T, McGraw K, Przychodzen B, Kulasekararaj A, Afable M, Husseinzadeh HD, Hosono N, LeBlanc F, Lagström S, Zhang D, Ellonen P, Tichelli A, Nissen C, Lichtin AE, Wodnar-Filipowicz A, Mufti GJ, List AF, Mustjoki S, Loughran TP Jr, Maciejewski JP. (2013). STAT3 mutations indicate the presence of subclinical T-cell clones in a subset of aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome patients. Blood 122:2453-9. 
  • Pfister O, Lorenz V, Oikonomopoulos A, Xu L, Häuselmann SP, Mbah C, Kaufmann BA, Liao R, Wodnar-Filipowicz A, Kuster GM. (2014). Flt3 activation improves post-myocardial infarction remodeling involving a cytoprotective effect on cardiomyocytes. J Am Coll Cardiol. 63:1011-9.
  • Bottos A, Gotthardt D, Gill JW, Gattelli A, Frei A, Tzankov A, Sexl V, Wodnar-Filipowicz A, Hynes NE. (2016). Decreased NK-cell tumour immunosurveillance consequent to JAK inhibition enhances metastasis in breast cancer models. Nature Commun. 2016 Jul 13;7:12258.


  • Wodnar-Filipowicz A. Biological properties of haemopoietic stem cells. (2012). ESH-EBMT Handbook: Haemopoietic stem cell transplantation 6th edition, pg 56-72.


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