Lives of the fellows

John Michael Goldman

b.30 November 1938 d.24 December 2013
BM BCh Oxon(1963) MRCP(1967) FRCP(1979) DM(1981) MRCPath(1985) FRCPath(1986)

John Goldman was chair of the department of haematology at Hammersmith Hospital, London, and a pioneer in the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). He was born in London, the son of Carl Heinz Goldman, a physician, and his wife Berthe. His parents had left Nazi Germany in 1933. He was educated at Westminster School and then went on to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he studied psychology and physiology. He completed his medical studies at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, qualifying BM BCh in 1963.

In the late sixties he spent three years in the USA, as a fellow in haematology at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, and a fellow in oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. In 1970 he joined the department of haematology at Hammersmith Hospital. He was a member of the Medical Research Council’s leukaemia unit, chair of the department of haematology from 1994 to 2004 and emeritus professor of leukaemia biology.

He was one of the first to develop the treatment of CML using bone marrow transplantation, and undertook some of the initial transplantations in Europe using related donors. He became the first medical director of the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Registrar, the pioneering stem cell register, and helped to establish the World Marrow Donor Association.

In the 1990s, he championed research into the drug imatinib, one of the first targeted cancer therapies, and helped persuade Novartis to manufacture the drug. The drug (marketed as Glivec) has transformed the prognosis of patients with CML, allowing the possibility of normal life expectancies. Goldman also researched into the development of sensitive molecular techniques used to detect residual leukaemia cells in patients, giving an early indication of relapse.

He was founding president of the British Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, president of the International Society for Experimental Haematology, the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and of the European Haematology Association. He was a member of the executive committee and the international scientific committee of the European School of Haematology. He also helped develop the International Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Foundation.

He published more than 750 scientific papers and was editor of the journal Bone Marrow Transplantation from its inception in 1985.

Goldman died from cancer of the bile duct and was survived by his daughter Lucy from his marriage to Jeannine Fuller, which ended in divorce, and by his daughter, Cassie, and son, Jasper, from his former relationship with Constance Wilson.

RCP editor

[Lancet 2014 383 (9920) 864 www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)60434-7/fulltext?rss=yes – accessed 12 April 2016; The Guardian 13 January 2014 www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jan/13/john-goldman – accessed 12 April 2016; The Independent 7 February 2014 www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/professor-john-goldman-pioneering-haematologist-whose-ground-breaking-work-led-the-fight-against-9115899.html – accessed 12 April 2016; Imperial College London Professor John Michael Goldman 1938-2013 www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/medicine/newssummary/news_8-1-2014-14-54-50 – accessed 12 April 2016]

(Volume XII, page web)

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