Haematology is a complex and varied field with many challenges. Haematology professionals have worked to overcome these in the past and continue to tackle current challenges.

In the words of our Past Presidents

‘…we started up quite quickly in Birmingham, a clinical trials programme, we had no funding for research nurses, so we had to set up our own charity. And we quite quickly had a research network in the region and were able to push through some really quite nice clinical trials in leukaemia and myeloma which got published.’
Charles Craddock, BSH President 2017 - 2018


‘…if you have a choice between doing something that's easy or doing something that's difficult, choose the difficult one, because you never know where it will lead.’
Patrick Carrington, BSH President 2015 - 2016


‘…if we can understand the pathogenesis of leukaemia, then it allows us to not only optimise the therapy so that you can balance the risk/benefit in favour of the patient, but the chances of actually improving outcome are also there at the same time.’
Angela Thomas, BSH President 2012 - 2013

Highlights from the haematology timeline

Our haematology timeline highlights many examples of overcoming obstacles, including:

  • 2012 Standardised haemoglobin units of measurement
  • 2001 The origin of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura identified
  • 1990 Management of CML relapse post-transplant with donor lymphocyte infusions
  • 1988 Landmark study: A trial shows that acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) can be cured in young patients
  • 1978 Cyclosporin developed to reduce graft v host disease after bone marrow transplantation
  • 1964 Launch of first Medical Research Council (MRC) myeloma trial

Browse the full timeline for more examples using the link below or in the right-hand menu.

Reflections from the haematology community

In preparation for our 60th anniversary, we invited members of the haematology community to share with us their thoughts and reflections. 

Find out more about our anniversary video contributors.

It is not too late to participate – please send your story to janet@b-s-h.org.uk.

Imelda Bates: Biggest challenges currently facing haematology services in developing countries
Imelda Bates: Biggest challenges currently facing haematology services in developing countries
Imelda Bates: Where do you believe haematology in developing countries will be in 60 years' time?
Imelda Bates: Where do you believe haematology in developing countries will be in 60 years' time?
Jackie Green: Biggest challenges currently facing haematology
Jackie Green: Biggest challenges currently facing haematology
Jackie Green: Haematology workforce of the future
Jackie Green: Haematology workforce of the future
Cathy Burton: Raising the profile of immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics
Cathy Burton: Raising the profile of immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics
Cathy Burton: Challenges currently facing immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics
Cathy Burton: Challenges currently facing immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics
Cathy Burton: Immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics in 60 years' time
Cathy Burton: Immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics in 60 years' time
Cathy Burton: Which aspects of what you do have given you the greatest satisfaction?
Cathy Burton: Which aspects of what you do have given you the greatest satisfaction?
Cathy Burton: Immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics workforce of the future
Cathy Burton: Immunohistochemistry and molecular diagnostics workforce of the future
Shivir Moosai: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haematology?
Shivir Moosai: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haematology?
Shivir Moosai: What are your biggest hopes for haematology over the next 60 years?
Shivir Moosai: What are your biggest hopes for haematology over the next 60 years?
Shivir Moosai: Greatest moment (or moments) within your career to date?
Shivir Moosai: Greatest moment (or moments) within your career to date?
Anne Lennard: An overview of the treatment of T-cell lymphoma when you first started working
Anne Lennard: An overview of the treatment of T-cell lymphoma when you first started working
Anne Lennard: The major development in the treatment of T-cell lymphoma
Anne Lennard: The major development in the treatment of T-cell lymphoma
Anne Lennard: What do you find most challenging about the treatment of T-cell lymphoma?
Anne Lennard: What do you find most challenging about the treatment of T-cell lymphoma?
Anne Lennard: Why is it important for you to be a good mentor?
Anne Lennard: Why is it important for you to be a good mentor?
Peter Johnson: What makes you passionate about the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Peter Johnson: What makes you passionate about the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Peter Johnson: What would be your advice to your young self starting in this field?
Peter Johnson: What would be your advice to your young self starting in this field?
Jamie Saunders: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haematology?
Jamie Saunders: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haematology?
Heidi Doughty: Most significant developments happening right now in military transfusion medicine
Heidi Doughty: Most significant developments happening right now in military transfusion medicine
Heidi Doughty: Key innovations in military transfusion medicine in the past 60 years
Heidi Doughty: Key innovations in military transfusion medicine in the past 60 years
Heidi Doughty: Greatest moment (moments) within your career to date
Heidi Doughty: Greatest moment (moments) within your career to date
Jim Murray: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haematology?
Jim Murray: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haematology?
Jim Murray: What will the haematology workforce of the future look like?
Jim Murray: What will the haematology workforce of the future look like?
Barbara Bain: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haematology?
Barbara Bain: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haematology?
Barbara Bain: What are the most significant developments happening right now in haematology?
Barbara Bain: What are the most significant developments happening right now in haematology?
Barbara Bain: What do you believe are the key innovations in haematology in the past 60 years?
Barbara Bain: What do you believe are the key innovations in haematology in the past 60 years?
Sue Pavord: Who or what sparked your interest in haematology and inspired your career choice?
Sue Pavord: Who or what sparked your interest in haematology and inspired your career choice?
Ted Tuddenham: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haemostasis?
Ted Tuddenham: What are the biggest challenges currently facing haemostasis?

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The views expressed in the material filmed for the anniversary are those of the participants involved and do not necessarily represent the views of the British Society for Haematology.

Filming took place during the second half of 2019 and the start of 2020, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.