The British Society for Haematology (BSH) honoured Professor Barbara Bain today (Tuesday 28 March), at the 57th Annual Scientific Meeting, with a lifetime achievement award.
The President of the BSH, Dr Tim Littlewood, said the Society wanted to recognise the exceptional commitment and leadership that Professor Bain has contributed to haematology. He stated that this is not an annual award, but one for extraordinary people who have contributed significantly over a sustained period.
He added: ‘Professor Bain has made a clinical, academic and teaching commitment not only to British haematology but also internationally over several decades. She is famous for her morphology teaching and her encyclopedic knowledge.'
Professor Bain said she originally took an interest in haematology due to the combination of clinical and laboratory work that the specialty offered. When asked about her greatest achievements, she noted her contribution to teaching and training medical students and future haematologists. She is most proud of maintaining and developing the St Mary’s courses over 30 years, together with a loyal team of collaborators, so that they now include haemoglobinopathies and BMS-oriented morphology as well as the traditional peripheral blood and bone marrow aspirate morphology and trephine biopsy histology. In addition, another achievement she mentioned is contributing to the development of blood.med as an educational tool that is used by almost all UK trainees and is now incorporated into the BSH website.
Professor Bain has been a member of the BSH for over eighteen years. Not only has her contribution to haematology been significant; her ongoing dedication to the Society is tremendously appreciated. She has sat on multiple committees and regularly organised and presented at events. In addition, she has acted as the editor of case studies and image submissions to the BSH website.
When asked about what advice she would give to students who are just starting out and considering the specialty, she said ‘Keep an open mind for a few years and get a broad and deep knowledge of all aspects of haematology before subspecialisation. Don’t forget that laboratory haematology is the basis of what we do – don’t leave it to pathologists.’