World’s top cancer scientists honour Professor John Goldman

27th May 2014

On Saturday, 24th May 2014, The Royal College of Physicians in London’s Regents Park hosted an all-day symposium for 400 people to celebrate Leuka’s founding Chairman – the late Professor John Goldman – a pioneer in bone marrow transplant for chronic myeloid leukaemia. He died on 24th December 2013.

John Goldman

Scientific leaders from around the world gathered to pay tribute to Professor Goldman’s remarkable career. He was a towering figure in British and international haematology, who led the transformation of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), from an incurable disease with an average life expectancy of three to five years, to the manageable and in some cases curable condition that it is today.

Chris Corbin OBE, Chairman of Leuka

“I feel supremely privileged to have known John, firstly as a patient, secondly as a fundraiser for Leuka, and most recently as our Chairman. The world is a poorer place without John but his legacy will be felt by generations to come.”

Born in 1938, John was educated at Westminster School and Magdalen College, Oxford, and completed his medical training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. After further training in the USA he was appointed in 1971 to the prestigious Medical Research Council Leukaemia Unit based at Hammersmith Hospital (now part of Imperial College), where he began to focus on CML and devoted the rest of his career towards curing the disease.

As a result of John and his colleagues work, the Hammersmith Hospital became internationally renowned for leaukaemia treatment and research. In the 1970’s and 1980’s he pioneered the use of bone marrow transplantations to cure CML, first from sibling donors, later from unrelated donors.

He chaired Leuka from its inception, and in 1998 launched a £10 million capital appeal to fund the building of a new specialist leukaemia centre at Hammersmith Hospital – The Catherine Lewis Centre opened its doors to patients and staff in June 2002.

Catherine Lewis Centre

On retiring as Chair of the Department of Haematology at Hammersmith Hospital in 2004, John remained as Chair of Leuka until his death in 2013, whilst also focusing on international work – helping to create a bone marrow donor registry in India, beginning a foundation to spread CML best practices across the world, and most recently advocating for reducing the costs of drugs in the developing world.

For a full programme and list of speakers please click here