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See the John Goldman remembrance page here  

Tribute to Professor John Goldman

John Goldman IMG 2808s

A passion for discovery – four decades as a leading scientist in CML research

John will certainly be remembered as a leading figure in CML research and as an outstanding scientist with a worldwide recognition. During his over 40 years long career he made major contributions to the understanding of the biology and the treatment of CML, that was still a fatal disease at the start of his career. He made seminal contributions to a variety of breakthroughs in CML research particularly in the field of stem cell transplantation, in the clinical development of epoch-making new therapies and in the advancements of diagnostics. 

His contributions transformed the outcomes of millions of patients with CML globally: “Many of us owe our lives to the dedicated, courageous and engaged work of John to turn CML from a deadly into a chronic disease”, emphasised Jan Geissler from the CML Advocates Network.


Back in 1980 John Goldman was the first to demonstrate the presence of stem cells in JG iCMLf Meetingthe peripheral blood of CML patients and their potential role in autografting patients with CML. He also pioneered allogeneic stem cell transplant for CML in Europe. Having played a leading role in establishing the curative potential of bone marrow transplants from a matched sibling donor, John next turned to the concept that unrelated but genetically matched individuals could also serve as stem cell donors. John also played a leading role in the clinical development of molecular targeted drug therapies for CML. He confirmed the preclinical efficacy of the first tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), imatinib, in 1997 and first used it in the clinic in 1999. He was also involved in the development of second generation TKI´s. In terms of diagnostics John foresaw the potential to apply the recently developed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to address urgent needs in CML, including the monitoring of residual disease.


John served as an editor for several internationally renowned journals, among them Bone Marrow Transplantation, the Haematology Journal and the European Journal of Haematology. During the course of his career he published over 800 papers in peer-reviewed journals. John was an Emeritus Professor of Haematology at the Imperial College in London and served as Medical Director of the Anthony Nolan Trust. Prior to this, John was Chairman of the Department of Haematology at the Imperial College in London until 2004 and was then nominated Director of the Leukaemia Research Fund Centre for Adult Leukaemia and Clinical Director of the Haematology Department at the Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust.


Besides his commitments as a scientist and a clinician John also played a vital role within international scientific haematology organisations. He was the former President of the International Society for Experimental Haematology, the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, a founding member of the European Haematology Association (EHA) and a member of the Executive Committee and the International Scientific Committee of the European School of Hematology (ESH). John also chaired the ESH CML meeting for many years and it was due to his efforts that since 2009 the iCMLf and ESH run this meeting jointly. “Its prominent position as THE CML meeting is solely due to John´s capacity to bring all the key clinicians and researchers in the field together and to constantly refresh the meeting with new ideas and new directions”, said Tim Hughes, member of the iCMLf executive team. John is widely credited by the CML community for being the glue that kept the group together, academically in the search for better access to treatment and monitoring for patients all over the world, and socially, as a harmonious group of colleagues working together for the same cause. Until his last month John remained dedicated to writing publications, chairing international meetings, lecturing and mentoring young scientists and clinicians.

If you want to read more about Dr Goldman’s scientific legacy you will find a list of his major publications here


A tireless pioneer - five years as guide and visionary to the iCMLf


It was back in 2007 that Timothy Hughes, Jorge Cortés and John Goldman first discussed the idea of setting up a foundation dedicated to the mission of improving the outcomes for patients with CML globally. As the inaugural chair of this Foundation, the iCMLf, it is thanks to John’s dedication and leadership that the foundation has managed to make significant inroads towards its major goal to improve the treatment of CML around the world. In very challenging circumstances with limited access to medications and equipment iCMLf programs like the Emerging Regions Support and Partnership Program have increase access to education and CML diagnostics and through this, patient’s access to life changing therapies. “Diagnostic methods and specialised medical practices can in the near future be made available much more widely than they currently are – to the real benefit of literally millions of people worldwide”, this is how John described his initial vision for the work of the iCMLf.


Over the past five years John has devoted his energy and passion to the success of the Foundation. His insight and international perspective has been vital to the success of the iCMLf so far and the benefit to patients of the Foundation’s programs. “My CML patients and myself are the main beneficiaries from his lifetime advances that he has accomplished and the establishment of organizations like the iCMLf…Thousands are benefitting even at this very moment as well as for long time to come”, said Dr Abdulaziz A. Sherif from Ethiopia. Dr Sherif was one of the clinical preceptors supported by the iCMLf to study at the Hammersmith Hospital. John’s death is a heavy loss to the iCMLf and we will miss his guidance, wisdom and spirit.


On behalf of all the physicians and patients impacted by our work we are very grateful to John’s inspiration and leadership over the past 5 years. We will always remember him as one of the co-founders and a visionary of the iCMLf. John’s legacy will live on through the direction set by his leadership and in his honour we will continue in his and our mission to improve the outcome for CML patients wherever they reside.